About the Dalton Nuclear Institute

The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute is the UK’s largest and most connected academic capability in nuclear R&D and high-level skills development. Established in 2005, the Institute has built a broad nuclear research capability that is addressing the major issues associated with nuclear power today and in the future: plant life extension, new nuclear build, decommissioning and radioactive waste management.

Nuclear skills development through teaching and research has grown with a large number of Manchester alumni entering the nuclear industry. Strong research partnerships with the nuclear industry and the regulator ensure the rapid transfer of research output and skills development into the sector.

In recognition for its “internationally renowned research and skills training for the nuclear industry” the Institute was recently awarded a Diamond Jubilee round Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

The nuclear challenge

The global increase in energy demand combined with the rise in CO2 emissions and concerns about global warming has focused international attention on implementing energy policies that deliver secure, affordable and low carbon energy. In the UK, the challenging but necessary target of 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, requires a massive increase in low carbon energy generation alongside efficiency measures. This target cannot be met without nuclear power. Internationally, nuclear generating capacity is increasing and is set to double by 2035.

This international renaissance in nuclear power is creating new economic opportunities for the UK, which has over 60 years experience in all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, an internationally renowned nuclear regulator, and a leading capability in nuclear R&D and skills development that is providing industry with a leading edge.

Research, higher learning and outreach

The Dalton Nuclear Institute at The University of Manchester has established the most advanced academic nuclear research capability in the UK. With over 300 academic researchers, including internationally renowned experts, and more than 1,000 undergraduates taking nuclear modules, the Institute is the UK’s largest concentration of high-level nuclear skills development.

World-leading research

Research activities support the competitive growth of the UK nuclear industry and help to provide new knowledge to support the UK's future nuclear energy strategy. Focused research centres undertake R&D in areas such as the extended, safe operation of existing reactors; the manufacturing of new nuclear reactors and fuels; and research on decommissioning and waste management. With over £100 million research funding from the research councils, industry and government since 2005, the Dalton Nuclear Institute is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in nuclear research. Find out more about collaborating with us.

State-of-the-art facilities

The Institute has established a range of specialist nuclear R&D facilities, including the University’s Dalton Cumbrian Facility (DCF). The DCF, designed as a national user facility and the result of a £20 million joint investment by the University and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, is a unique state-of-the-art research base for radiation science and engineering decommissioning, and incorporates academic access to the highly active research facilities within the Central Laboratory on Sellafield site, operated by the National Nuclear Laboratory. Other facilities include the Manufacturing Technology Research Laboratory, Radiochemistry Laboratory, advanced electron optics and the Henry Moseley X-ray Imaging Facility and Radionuclide Biogeochemistry Suite.

Higher learning

Skills Development for the Nuclear Industry

The Institute has established a range of nuclear skills development programmes to educate the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers. Programmes encompass undergraduate teaching, postgraduate research and continual professional development modules that enable career development in the nuclear industry.

Higher Learning includes Manchester’s management of the NTEC Nuclear MSc, leadership of the Nuclear FiRST Doctoral Training Centre with the University of Sheffield, and the Nuclear Industrial Doctorate Centre with Imperial College London and in collaboration with other universities.


The Institute provides strategic and independent technical advice to government, public bodies, industry and learned societies on nuclear matters. Knowledge transfer through research partnerships with industry ensures maximum impact of research and development. Research partnerships with the nuclear sector include the Rolls-Royce Nuclear University Technology Centre, the Sellafield Ltd Decontamination and Effluent Treatment Centre of Expertise and our partnership with AMEC.

The Institute is committed to improving public understanding of nuclear matters and works with the media, schools and museums to enhance understanding of nuclear science and engineering. The Institute also encourages children to grow an interest in science and technology by engaging in schools outreach initiatives and developing educational tools for teachers.

Find out more

Please contact us to find out more

A decade of driving nuclear R&D forward

Dalton Nuclear Institute launched ten years ago in 2005.

Find out more about key highlights throughout the last ten years in our 10 year review.

Download our 10 Year Review - save a copy to your system for full interactive navigation features

Dalton 10 Year Review (2005-2015)

News and events

Click here to view our latest news and events.

Download the Dalton Nuclear Institute brochure

Dalton Brochure 2013

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