The DTU is setting up a new interdisciplinary centre to study research in nuclear power technologies after maintaining professional expertise in the fields of nuclear physics and technologies.

The new department will be called DTU Nuclear Energy Technology and led by Bent Lauritzen, a senior researcher at DTU Physics. Relevant research bodies such as DTU Physics, DTU Energy DTU Chemistry and DTU Construct will collaborate on the project.

The research centre will seek to attract and support academic talent to strengthen research in nuclear energy technologies; expand capacities for teaching and supervision of students, including PhD students; create experimental facilities for such areas as characterisation of materials and simulation of new reactor technologies; and strengthen collaboration with Danish and international companies.

DTU president Anders Bjarklev said: “The climate crisis has reached an extent that makes it crucial that we research all technologies that may be relevant in phasing out fossil energy sources. Regardless of whether nuclear power has a future in Denmark, it is important for DTU to have research in the field because we have an obligation to contribute research-based knowledge to society and our students. Our ambition with the creation of the new centre is to strengthen the part of the research that is specifically aimed at nuclear energy technologies.”

Denmark currently has three research reactors that started up between 1957 and 1960, the most notable of which is the Risø National Laboratory.

It has now been incorporated into DTU and is now known as the Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy.

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Fission research at Risø has stopped, but research into fusion continues, and it houses a cyclotron used for radioactive isotope production in its Hevesy Laboratory.

Denmark is an incongruous destination for the advancement of nuclear research. In 1985 the Danish parliament passed a resolution that nuclear power plants would not be built in the country and there are currently no plans to end this situation.