About the Dalton Nuclear Institute

The University of Manchester's Dalton Nuclear Institute is the UK’s largest and most connected academic provider of nuclear R&D and high-level skills development.

We support research which addresses the major issues associated with nuclear power: plant life extension, new nuclear build, decommissioning and radioactive waste management.

With over £100m research funding since 2005 from the research councils, industry and UK Government, the Dalton Nuclear Institute is an internationally recognised centre of excellence. Read our 10 year review.


A large number of academic researchers currently work across the nuclear field at The University of Manchester, including internationally renowned experts. Across the Faculty of Science and Engineering at any one time there are more than 1,000 undergraduates taking nuclear modules. Strong research partnerships with the nuclear industry and the regulator ensure the rapid transfer of research output and skills development into the sector.

We have established a range of specialist nuclear R&D facilities, including the Dalton Cumbrian Facility (DCF). Part of the National Nuclear User Facility, the DCF is a unique state-of-the art research base for radiation science and nuclear decommissioning engineering. The result of a £20m investment by the University and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, it provides academic and commercial access to research facilities including highly active laboratories on the Sellafield Site through our strong partnership with the National Nuclear Laboratory. 

Other capabilites at The University of Manchester include radiochemistry, materials perfomance and modelling and simulation. 

Outreach and collaboration

Our researchers provide strategic and independent technical advice to government, public bodies, industry and learned societies on nuclear matters. Knowledge transfer through research partnerships within industry ensures maximum impact of research and development. Research partnerships within the nuclear sector include the National Nuclear Laboratory, the Rolls-Royce Nuclear University Technology Centre, the Sellafield Ltd Decontamination and Effluent Treatment Centre of Expertise and our partnership with Amec Foster Wheeler.

We are committed to engaging with the wider public about nuclear matters and work with the media, schools and museums to enhance understanding of nuclear science and engineering. We also encourage children to develop an interest in science and technology by delivering schools outreach activities and developing tools for teachers.

Royal recognition

Queen's anniversary prize 2011 & 2013

The Dalton Nuclear Institute was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, the most prestigious form of national recognition for an academic institution.

Awarded in the ‘Diamond Jubilee’ round of presentations, the Prize recognised our “internationally renowned research and skills training for the nuclear industry”, the support provided to government, regulators and industry, and our training and outreach activities for undergraduate and postgraduate students, professionals, and schools.

Who was John Dalton?

John Dalton FRS (1766-1844) was an English chemist, physicist and meteorologist. He was one of the founding fathers of the Victoria University of Manchester and is remembered most prominently for pioneering the concept of atomic theory and atomic weights, published in his "New System of Chemical Philosophy", 1808-10. He also made important advances across other fields including meteorology and colour vision. Dalton's papers can be consulted at John Rylands Library.

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