About us

The South West Nuclear Hub provides a focus for nuclear innovation, research and teaching in the south west of the UK. The Hub incorporates the existing collaboration between the Universities of Bristol and Oxford: the Nuclear Research Centre (NRC).

With a dedicated building, opened in summer 2016 at the University of Bristol, the Hub introduces a step-change across Higher Education in the region to accelerate and grow nuclear research and teaching activities. The Hub provides a common location for academia, industry and government to come together to meet the opportunities and challenges facing nuclear energy in the UK.

Within the Hub, the NRC continues to actively pursue collaborative research opportunities in the UK and internationally. New and existing industrial partners are committing support for the Centre’s long-term research vision by establishing strategic relationships.

The importance of nuclear energy

Nuclear fission represents the most environmentally benign method of large scale electricity production, it displaces other forms of power such as coal and gas which emit pollutants and greenhouse gas and upon which the UK is dependent on importing from a limited number of overseas sources, reducing energy security. Nuclear power is a low-carbon source of energy with generation costs below most renewable sources and capable of round the clock generation. Uranium fuel is also readily obtainable from wide range of sources. Nuclear energy is a key pillar of the UK’s strategy for affordable, secure, low-carbon energy.

From Us

University of Bristol logoProfessor Tom Scott,
Hub and NRC Co-director, University of Bristol

Dr Tom Scott NRC Co-director, University of BristolKey to the NRC’s contribution to Industry, Government and the Research Community, is how the two universities are working together to advance fundamental understanding and the applications of nuclear research.

This collaboration is based on the collective experience of a large, research active community at the two institutions with direct experience of the nuclear sector.

Professor Chris Grosvenor,
NRC Co-director, University of Oxford

Professor Chris Grosvenor NRC Co-director,University of OxfordSince its establishment, the NRC has generated some excellent interactions, some substantive new projects led by both institutions and a number of new projects that we are still pursuing.

We in Oxford also share the aspiration to work closely with industry on training a new generation of nuclear scientists and engineers, and now have more than 60 full time young researchers working in this area.

From Our Collaborators

NNL logoProfessor Graham Fairhall,
Chief Science and Technology Officer, NNL

Professor Graham Fairhall Chief Science and Technology Officer, NNL NNL and the University of Bristol have both committed to growing their existing relationship. The intent is to provide internationally leading research and teaching, which will help to underpin the safety of current and future UK nuclear operations, including the new build programme, beginning with the proposed Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset. This will mark a significant expansion of nuclear research and teaching activities in the South West of the UK.

David Sweeney,
Executive Chair of Research England (formerly HEFCE)

David SweeneyWe are delighted to support the training of the next generation of nuclear
Engineers who will develop our future energy supply, address environmental clean-up and other concerns, and help to extend the life of our existing power stations. HEFCE funding will catalyse the establishment of this Hub and facilitate inwards industrial investment to ensure long-term sustainability and growth to the benefit of the UK.

EDF Energy logoVincent de Rivaz,
Former Chief Executive, EDF Energy


Vincent de Rivaz Chief Executive, EDF EnergyFrance and Britain have much to gain by sharing their strength and experience to boost the capability of their nuclear industries at home and around the world. That will be underpinned by their in-depth and growing expertise in nuclear research and development.