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Dalton Nuclear Institute

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Undergraduate

There are numerous routes into the field of nuclear energy and studying any science, technology or engineering subject is likely to be useful.

The following subject areas offer courses which can be relevant to the nuclear field and provide opportunities to choose nuclear-related modules or project work.

Subject areas

Chemical engineering and analytical science

The nuclear industry employs many chemical engineers with expertise in process design and knowledge of relevant topics such as heat and mass transfer.

Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

  • engineering thermodynamics;
  • heat transfer and process integration;
  • momentum heat and mass transfer;
  • process measurement and control;
  • sustainability and nuclear power.

Find out more on the Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science website.

Chemistry

Nuclear chemistry is a critical area for the nuclear sector spanning the development of reactor fuel, the operation of reactors and the long-term management of nuclear waste.

Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

  • radiochemistry and nuclear chemistry;
  • case studies in inorganic chemistry (nuclear forensics);
  • topics in environmental chemistry (behaviour of radionuclides in the environment);
  • core inorganic chemistry (the actinide elements);
  • nuclear power and the nuclear fuel cycle;
  • radioanalytical chemistry.

Find out more on the Department of Chemistry website.

Earth and environmental sciences

Understanding the fundamental biogeochemical, geomicrobiological and mineralogical interactions of radionuclides in the environment is vital to management of the nuclear legacy and minimising its impact: from optimisation of ongoing operations, management of nuclear decommissioning and contaminated land, and in nuclear waste management and disposal.

Find out more on the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences website.

Electrical and electronic engineering

Electrical and electronic engineers are employed in the nuclear sector across a range of areas, including control and instrumentation, non-destructive examination, robotics and autonomous systems.

Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

  • energy transport and conversion;
  • digital systems design;
  • machines, drives and power electronics;
  • sensors and instrumentation;
  • power systems: plant and protection;
  • control engineering;
  • instrumentation;
  • electrical power engineering;
  • sensor and image processing.

Find out more on the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering website.

Materials

Materials science is fundamentally important for all aspects of nuclear science and engineering including, for example, the manufacturing of reactor fuels and structural components. Materials scientists also study the influence of irradiation on the microstructure and material properties of reactor materials.

Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

  • structure of materials;
  • computing and analytical methods;
  • deformation and strengthening of materials;
  • phase transformations;
  • joining of materials.

Find out more on the Department of Materials website.

Mechanical, aerospace and civil engineering

Mechanical and civil engineering are critical disciplines for the nuclear sector in the design, operation and decommissioning of reactors, and the management of radioactive waste.

Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

  • introduction to nuclear engineering;
  • nuclear materials (irradiation damage, irradiation chemistry);
  • thermo-hydraulics, power systems and heat application;
  • nuclear systems: reactor design, safety, radiation and materials.

Find out more on the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering website.

Physics and astronomy

Nuclear physics is a critical discipline for the nuclear sector, supporting the design of reactor technology and decommissioning facilities, and the development, for example, of detectors and spectrometers.

Examples of course units relevant to the nuclear sector include:

  • the physics of energy sources;
  • introduction to nuclear and particle physics;
  • nuclear physics;
  • applied nuclear physics;
  • nuclear fusion and astrophysical plasmas;
  • physics applied to medicine and biology;
  • nuclear structure;
  • nuclear reactions;
  • research masterclasses (nuclear topics).

Find out more on the Department of Physics and Astronomy website.