Introduction to Nuclear Reactors

11 November 2021

Free Webinar (12.00 - 13.00)

The Webinar

Nuclear reactors have influenced our society for the last 80 years, from the first fission reactor, the Chicago Pile, to nuclear energy’s darker days following Chernobyl in 1986 to current nuclear renaissance. The UK has 13 operational reactors, accounting for around 20% of electricity production currently and the future looks near guaranteed following an IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report indicating a need for an increase in nuclear power to meet emission targets.

Over the last 80 years nuclear reactor designs have changed dramatically, ensuring safe operation, increased efficiency and lowered costs, while recent funding for advanced and small modular reactors (SMRs) is beginning to change the nuclear landscape.

This webinar will give an overview of nuclear reactor design, focusing on reactors in the UK fleet. The physics and technical details of crucial components will be discussed, showing how a reactor converts the energy of fissioning nuclei into electricity. The talk will finish with an exploration of advanced reactor designs, including SMRs, molten salts and fusion reactors.

Download the presentation (SRP member access only).  The video of the webinar can be found at the bottom of this page.


Ross Allen is a final year PhD student in the Nuclear Physics Group at the University of Birmingham, with an interest in nuclear physics and the ability nuclear power has to decarbonise our grid. Ross studied an undergraduate degree in Nuclear Science and Materials, before studying a Masters in Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Management, both at the University of Birmingham. Ross then undertook a PhD focusing on the modelling of nuclear reactions, with a focus on novel isotope production for tracking of nuclear fuel particles and fission fragment nuclei.





Introduction to Nuclear Reactors

Free Webinar (12.00 - 13.00)

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