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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/F001444/1
Title: Sustainability Assessment of Nuclear Power: An Integrated Approach (SPRIng)
Principal Investigator: Azapagic, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Simpson, Professor J French, Professor S Thomas, Professor P
Butler, Professor G Howell, Professor SD Stoker, Professor G
Anderson, Professor K
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AMEC AREVA Group British Energy
British Nuclear Energy Society BNES Foreign, Commonwealth & Dev Office Health and Safety Executive
Nexia Solutions Seebyte Ltd Serco
UK Energy Research Centre University of Sheffield Westinghouse Electric Company UK Limited
Department: Chem Eng and Analytical Science
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 February 2008 Ends: 31 July 2011 Value (£): 2,114,143
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Environment Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
22 Mar 2007 Sustainable Nuclear Power Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The early years of the 21st century have seen energy policy return to the political agenda both in the UK and internationally. Growing concerns about environmental, economic and social issues associated with energy production (climate change, the depletion of hydrocarbon resources, declining public trust in science and technology and increasing energy prices) have led to a reappraisal of the wider energy scene and of individual energy technologies. The return of various nuclear power options to the list of candidate technologies being actively considered is but one element of this change. One potential advantage of nuclear power is that it may help us to reduce CO2 emissions and therefore mitigate some of the climate change concerns, However, it is far from clear how sustainable the nuclear option is overall, compared to other generating options. Issues such as health and safety, investment risks, security, public trust and perception are also important for understanding of the full sustainability implications of nuclear generation. Furthermore, the nuclear power industry is faced with many uncertainties, including financial, technical and regulatory. Decommissioning and high-level waste disposal are prime examples of areas where these uncertainties exist. The public attitude toward nuclear power in general ranges from ambivalent to negative; there is, however, a growing public awareness and concern about the impacts of global warming which may start to influence the change in public opinion. Therefore, any decisions about the future of nuclear power will need to take into account these and other relevant issues, taking an integrated, balanced and impartial approach to evaluating the relative environmental, economic, social and political sustainability of nuclear power.This project proposes to develop such an integrated approach and apply it to sustainability appraisals of nuclear power relative to other energy options. The main objectives of the project are:1. development of a rigorous, robust and transparent multicriteria decision-support framework for sustainability assessment of energy options;2. sustainability assessments of the nuclear option within an integrated energy system;3. engagement with and communication of the results of research to relevant stakeholders.The outputs of the project will help to inform the debate on the future of nuclear power in the UK.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk