NSSPI leads nuclear facilities experience in the UK

October 9, 2015
| By: Kelley Ragusa

Faculty and staff from the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station's Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI) at Texas A&M University organized the second Nuclear Facilities Experience (NFE) for American students and young professionals through a grant from the National Nuclear Security Administration's Next Generation Safeguards Initiative. This experience, which took place in the United Kingdom from Sept. 13-18, included students from five U.S. universities (Texas A&M, the University of Michigan, the University of New Mexico, the University of Tennessee and Penn State University), faculty from Texas A&M and the University of Utah, and young professionals from three national laboratories (Argonne, Savannah River and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories).

The five-day tour of the UK included visits to the Urenco uranium enrichment plant in Capenhurst, the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant at Sellafield, the world's first commercial nuclear power plant at Calder Hall (consisting of four Magnox reactors), and the Heysham Nuclear Power Plant (consisting of four advanced gas-cooled reactors).  

The NFE also included a stop at King's College London, where participants interacted with faculty and students from the Centre for Science and Security Studies in the Department of War Studies at King's College. Both host faculty and visitors presented lectures on nuclear security topics. 

Over the course of the NFE, the participants traveled more than 900 miles by rail and had the opportunity to see some of the best examples of operational nuclear science, security and safeguards the world has to offer.

This year's international NFE is the latest in a series of similar experiences organized by NSSPI since 2006. Past NFEs took students and faculty to facilities in France, the UK and Japan.

Photo: NFE group prepares to tour the Sellafield facilities.

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