Professor Francis Livens to chair Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board

Professor Francis Livens

The new Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) has been announced – with Professor Francis Livens, Director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute, appointed Chair.

Professor Gregg Butler, Head of Strategic Assessment at Dalton Nuclear Institute, will also remain on the Board.

NIRAB has provided expert, independent advice on nuclear research and innovation to government since it was first convened in 2014, reviewing the UK civil nuclear landscape every three years and making recommendations on the research and innovation required to underpin government policy.

Its most recent report, Achieving net zero: The role of nuclear energy in decarbonisation, is reflected in the government's energy white paper Powering our net zero future and Ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, published last year.


The previous incarnations of NIRAB have had a major impact on the UK's nuclear research and development over the last few years and, at an exciting time for the sector, it will be a privilege to help build on these foundations.
Francis Livens, Director of Dalton Nuclear Institute and Professor of Radiochemistry

The new NIRAB membership announced this week represents the third iteration of the Board, reconvened for 2021 to 2024.

Working in partnership with the Nuclear Innovation and Research Office (NIRO), it will advise on key policy issues and support the development of recommendations for new research and innovation programmes and strategy to underpin priority policies, with a focus on delivering current objectives set out in the white paper on small modular reactors and advanced nuclear technology.

It will provide advice on the impact and delivery of government's nuclear research and innovation programmes; opportunities for greater collaboration with industry and international partners; the potential for innovation to reduce the cost of the nuclear life cycle; and implementation of research programmes to demonstrate new and novel nuclear systems to support delivery of the energy white paper and ten-point plan.

Experts from The University of Manchester have been part of the NIRAB membership since its beginning, including Professor of Nuclear Fuel Technology Tim Abram (2014 to 2016 and 2018 to 2021), Head of the Thermo-Fluids Group Professor Hector Iacovides and Director of the Materials Performance Centre Professor Grace Burke (2018 to 2021).

With a wealth of experience and expertise in nuclear, and in leadership roles, Francis is exceptionally well placed to help set the direction of travel and navigate NIRAB over the coming years.
Dan Mathers, Director of NIRO

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