New, interdisciplinary center for nuclear energy technologies strengthens and unites DTU's research environments and will form a common entrance for external partners.
Wednesday 17 January 2024
Tore Vind Jensen
Simon Koefoed Toft
DTU is establishing a new center that will consolidate and strengthen research in nuclear power technologies and contribute knowledge to society. The center, which will be named DTU Nuclear Energy Technology, will ensure that Denmark continues to have strong competencies in the field and cooperate with Danish and international companies working to develop new reactor types.
"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 center is to strengthen the part of the research that is specifically aimed at nuclear energy technologies.” says President of DTU, Anders Bjarklev.
Although research into nuclear power has been limited in Denmark over the past 40 years, DTU has maintained several research environments that work with nuclear physics and nuclear technologies, thus maintaining professional expertise in the field.
Under the leadership of Bent Lauritzen, who is a senior researcher at DTU Physics, Center for Nuclear Energy Technology will strengthen the collaboration between relevant research environments, today located at the departments DTU Physics, DTU Energy, DTU Chemistry, and DTU Construct.
Significant technological development
The climate crisis and the world's increasing energy consumption necessitate the development of safe, cost-effective, and scalable energy technologies that can reduce CO2 emissions on a global scale and ensure a high degree of security of supply.
The development of nuclear power is going fast, and the field has advanced significantly, especially in the last approx. 15 years. In addition to the establishment of new, so-called Generation IV power plants as a further development of large, traditional nuclear power plants, work is being done to develop small, modular reactors. These differ from traditional plants both in terms of size, performance, and structure. A number of universities and companies worldwide - including two Danish startups - are working on developing and commercializing these small, modular reactors.
"The technological breakthroughs that are happening in nuclear power these years are hugely interesting in terms of research. New reactor technologies may well turn out to be able to contribute significantly to the world's energy supply, and this is what our research must help clarify. It is crucial that we, as a technical university, are ready to seize new technological opportunities when they arise," says Bent Lauritzen.