Friday, 20 July 2012

House of Lords Nuclear Student Discussion

Dalton Nuclear Institute Students Attend Discussion with House of Lords 

Sixteen nuclear post-graduate students based all over the country but associated with The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute were involved in a discussion with members of the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee after making contact and arranging the visit which was held at Millbank House in London.

The Palace of Westminster


The discussion was based around the recent House of Lords Nuclear Research & Development Report, which is a thorough review of the issues surrounding the UK’s nuclear aspirations and its capability to meet them.

When the report was first published several months ago, students approached Lord Wade of Chorlton to arrange a talk at the University to discuss its findings. However, whilst making arrangements all parties agreed that it would be more useful for students to visit London for a fuller discussion with more members of the Select Committee. After the initial meeting, Lord Wade kindly offered to set this up.

Attendees from the House of Lords included Lord Krebs (Chair of the Lords Science and Technology Committee), Lord Wade, Lord Broers, The Earl of Selborne and Lord Willis of Knaresborough. From the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, Andrew Miller MP and the Minister, Lord Marland of Odstock. Also present was the advisor on the report, Dr Robin Grimes and Dr Paul Gilchrist from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Points raised included: where should the UK focus its R&D aspirations to ensure expertise isn’t lost and gaps are filled; the need for taught courses to inspire students to work in the nuclear industry; and the role of fresh-faced scientists and young engineers in communicating openly and honestly with the public regarding the issues surrounding nuclear power.

Those at the session discussed how the young generation can play a key engagement role to aid understanding of why nuclear power is an important part of the UK energy mix and to help inspire future generations to feel excited about the prospects of the UK nuclear field. Several attendees commented that the outreach work Dalton students undertake to engage the wider public on key topics related to nuclear power is “inspirational.”

Matthew Gill, a Nuclear FiRST PhD student at The University of Manchester who was involved in arranging the visit, said: “Overall I think the discussion was both interesting and informative for both parties. This was particularly the case for the students, who rarely get an insight into the policy and the political side of the nuclear sector”.

1 comment:

  1. Nuclear energy is the future and the youth need education in it to make it more wide spread. Our fossil fuel sources are running out.