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30 November 2010
A masters degree course designed to train the next generation of nuclear scientists both in the UK and abroad has been announced by the University of Cambridge.
The MPhil degree course in Nuclear Energy will be based in the University's Department of Engineering, and will commence in October 2011.
Its aim is to provide the best possible grounding for graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in the sector, which is expanding rapidly and expected to become a multi-billion pound global business within the next 20 years.
Numerous countries are either developing, reactivating or starting new nuclear energy programmes, attracted by the combination of predictable costs, the need for low-carbon energy forms to deal with climate change, and the requirement for greater international energy security.
In the UK, three groups are planning to invest, collectively, at least £30 billion in new reactors over the next 15 years, which could supply 30% of the country's electricity demand per annum by 2030.
Other countries also have nuclear programmes in various stages of development. New construction is taking place in Finland, France, China, India and Korea and preparations for new build are also underway in the US and elsewhere.
The rise of nuclear energy means that over the next few decades, skilled and capable engineering and management staff will be in high demand. The new masters-level degree course will aim to prepare these specialists by combining nuclear science and technology topics with business management and policy teaching.
Though based in the Department of Engineering, it will be run in partnership with Cambridge Judge Business School and the Departments of Materials Science and Metallurgy, and Earth Sciences, at the University of Cambridge.
Professor Dame Anne Dowling, Head of the Department of Engineering, said:
"Nuclear Energy is now being recognised as an important contributor to low carbon energy needs in many countries around the world. The MPhil course draws on the knowledge and capability of the University to provide a broad and stimulating education for potential leaders in the resurgent nuclear industry."
"I hope that this course will come to be seen as one of several timely and important contributions by the University of Cambridge to securing low carbon energy for the 21st century."
The one-year course will provide students with a thorough grounding in the engineering, scientific and safety aspects of nuclear power, as well as a good understanding of nuclear policy and an appreciation of the wider business issues that surround electricity generation in the 21st century.
The core topics covered will include reactor physics, reactor engineering and thermo-hydraulics, the fuel cycle, waste and decommissioning, nuclear fuels and materials, systems, and safety. The Judge Business School will also provide teaching on nuclear policy and business. There will be an option to continue research training on completion of the course by entering a follow-on PhD programme.
The course will be taught by academics and supplemented by leading practitioners in the field with experience of industry and national laboratories.
Potential students will need a good degree in engineering or a related science subject and be aiming to build their career
in the energy and nuclear sectors. More information, including application details, can be found by emailing: email@example.com
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