Tag Archives | Chernobyl


University of Bristol and Chernobyl Institute sign MoU

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the University of Bristol and the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants National Academy of Science of Ukraine (ISP NPP NASU) to establish a long-term cooperative relationship. This Memorandum of Understanding will allow for knowledge exchange through visits between the two organisations and cooperation on […]

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The Curious Incident of the (Robot) Dog in the Nuclear Environment

Institute of Physics Materials and Characterisation Group Christmas Lecture

It is a generally well accepted argument that when it comes to surveying high activity nuclear facilities, robots offer a potentially safer and preferable solution to using human beings. In this IOP seminar we will tell the tale of why walking robots offer an eye catching but also technically sensible approach for surveying certain legacy nuclear facilities, culminating with ground-breaking deployments inside the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement (NSC) building.

Speaker - Professor Tom Scott

Professor Tom Scott is Director of the Interface Analysis Centre (IAC) at the University of Bristol, and lead for the newly established National Nuclear User Facility for Hot Robotics.

He is also a Royal Academy of Engineering Professorial Research Fellow co-funded by the AWE, Director of the South West Nuclear Hub and lectures in both the School of Physics and the School of Earth Sciences at Bristol.

His research expertise is around the detection and characterisation of nuclear materials, to aid prediction of their behaviour in engineered and environmental scenarios. This includes a specific strand of activity relating to nuclear robotics and sensors. He works closely with the nuclear industry in the UK and overseas to deliver characterisation and decontamination solutions for nuclear decommissioning.


The event is open to all and free to attend, but pre-registration is required via the Institute of Physics website.

Event page
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Innovation funding for ‘Re-evaluating Chernobyl’ researchers

An international group of researchers led by the University of Bristol have won support from the Cabot Institute Innovation Fund to improve our knowledge and understanding of the global radiological hazard associated with the 1986 nuclear accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Scientists and Engineers from Bristol have developed and deployed a range of […]

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chernobyl uav map

Radiation Mapping Surveys Using UAVs in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Research Area: Nuclear Hazards and Risks PI: Prof. Tom Scott Partners: National Centre for Nuclear Robotics, EPSRC Contact details: t.b.scott@bristol.ac.uk The Challenge The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant occurred during the early hours of Friday 26th April 1986 during a test on the Chernobyl 4 reactor prior to a routine shutdown. The resultant […]

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Bristol researchers venture to the Chernobyl red forest

A multidisciplinary group of researchers from the University of Bristol, as part of the National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR), recently travelled to Chernobyl exclusion zone, 33 years after the nuclear accident at the power plant in Ukraine. The team carried out a series of radiation mapping surveys using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) including the […]

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UWE environmental radioactivity research featured on the BBC

The recent BBC documentary In the Shadow of Chernobyl featured research from Hub member the University of the West of England into environmental radioactivity and radionuclide behaviour. Professor Neil Willey leads the UWE team that is part of the Transfer, Exposure, Effects: Understanding Radioactivity in the Environment (TREE) project that featured in the news programme […]

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Radioecology & the Nuclear Renaissance

  • Date: Wednesday 6th February
  • Time: refreshments at 5.30pm for 6pm start
  • Location: Peel Lecture Theatre, Geographical Sciences Building


This is a South West Nuclear Hub Nuclear Seminar Series talk that is open to all and free to register.


Radioecology & the Nuclear Renaissance: Insights and Challenges

Nuclear industries have to comply with national and international dose limits for radiation exposure to humans and other organisms.  Radioecology underpins these dose limits by studying all aspects of the fate and impact of radioisotopes in the environment.

Radioecology has provided some secure insights based on long-term studies but has also revealed some significant, and challenging, gaps and controversies. Using recent studies at Chernobyl and Fukushima in particular, in this talk Professor Willey will provide an overview of the key findings and key challenges in radioecology.


Professor Neil Willey, University of the West of England

Professor Willey's research focuses on plants and pollutants, in particular the uptake and effects of environmentally relevant radionuclides and toxic metals. He has expertise in the mechanisms of uptake, the phylogenetic constraints on uptake, and the molecular effects of radionuclides in plant cells. His research is used to predict soil-plant transfer of radionuclides in models of radionuclide movement in natural and agricultural ecosystems.

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Chernobyl – Then and Now – The Geological Society Evening Seminar

Speaker: Dr Ian Crossland, Specialist Consultant in Radioactive Waste Management
Date: 20th November 2018
Venue:The Hub, Aztec West, Bristol.
Time: Refreshments at 6pm for 6:30pm Start

The Western Regional Group is pleased to welcome Ian Crossland who is a materials scientist and self-employed consultant, with knowledge and experience covering most aspects of nuclear power. This year he celebrated 50 years’ work in the nuclear industry. For the past 25 years he has specialised in decommissioning and radioactive waste management with a particular interest in the long-term safety of radioactive waste disposal.

He has been working in Ukraine since 2007, helping to solve the problems of its nuclear liabilities; these include Chernobyl, wastes from still-operating nuclear power plants and disused uranium production facilities. The Chernobyl disaster occurred on the 25th - 26th April 1986 near the now abandoned town of Pripyat in northern Ukraine, then part of the USSR. A combination of events during a late night safety test resulted in a destructive explosion and open air graphite fire causing radioactive material to fall onto parts of western USSR and Europe. The Chernobyl catastrophe is considered to be the most disastrous nuclear accident in history, in terms of both cost and casualties.

This presentation will include a wide ranging and up to date discussion of the Chernobyl catastrophe, including the following:
• the circumstances leading up to the 1986 catastrophe
• the post-accident measures and their impact
• ongoing and future work to make the destroyed reactor safe
• the scientific controversies surrounding the number of deaths attributable to the accident and theimpact of the resulting contamination on the wildlife of the exclusion zone.


Contact: For all enquiries regarding the Western Regional Group and events please contact westernregionalgroup@gmail.com

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Homes should not be abandoned after a big nuclear accident

New research suggests that few people, if any, should be asked to leave their homes after a big nuclear accident, which is what happened in March 2011 following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. This is the main finding of a multi-university research study led by Philip Thomas, Professor of Risk Management at the University of […]

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Coping with a Big Nuclear Accident – Public Lecture

Public lecture and panel Q&A

Nuclear power can provide the large quantities of carbon-free electrical energy needed to sustain Western living standards.  But how should we cope when things go badly wrong?  When an accident causes the core to melt, the containment to fail and large quantities of radioactive fallout to be deposited on the surrounding countryside?  Just like at Chernobyl in 1986 and Fukushima Daiichi in 2011.  Philip Thomas, Professor of Risk Management at the University of Bristol, led a multi-university team to tackle this thorny issue head on.  You may find their research results surprising.  He and his team will be on hand to answer questions afterwards.

Panel: Prof. Philip Thomas (University of Bristol), Prof. Bill Nuttall (The Open University), Dr Paul Johnson (University of Manchester) and Dr Ian Waddington (Analytic Eye Ltd.)

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute of Measurement and Control and the Institute of Chemical Engineers.


Event details

  • Venue: Pugsley Lecture Theatre, Queens Building, University of Bristol
  • Time: 18:00 - 20:00
  • Light refreshments will be provided before and afterwards

Register on the Eventbrite page here.

Any queries please email sw-nuclearhub@bristol.ac.uk

If you cannot attend the lecture in person it will be livestreamed on the Hub website.

Details of how to get to the University can be found here. 

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