Proposed Nuclear Research Collaboration Between The University of Sydney and Czech Republic

12 February 2010

The Institute of Nuclear Science at the University of Sydney and the Czech Nuclear Research Centre aiming at research collaboration in the new generation of nuclear reactors.

Molten Salt Reactor.
Molten Salt Reactor.

While discussions are still underway, Dr Reza Hashemi-Nezhad, who heads the Institute that is based in the School of Physics, said the main fields of research would involve research into thorium fuel cycle and Molten Salt reactors.

Currently the Czech Republic has six nuclear reactors generating about one third of its electricity. Its first commercial nuclear power reactor began operating in 1985 and the Government's commitment to the future of nuclear energy is strong.

Even with its relatively small population electricity consumption in the Czech Republic has been growing since 1994. In 2007, 88.2 billion kWh was generated with 62% of energy coming from coal. That same year the per capita consumption was around 5500 kWh per year.

Dr Hashemi-Nezhad who has been lecturing and researching nuclear science for over 20 years in the School of Physics is an expert in the field of accelerator driven nuclear reactors and the thorium fuel cycle. He says; the Czech Government is interested in investing in R&D of new generations of nuclear reactors as an alternative source of energy. They have experience in building nuclear reactors and with the increasing demand of the country's energy supplies they are looking to nuclear energy as a greener way to meet the demand.

A public opinion poll conducted in the Czech Republic in early 2009 showed 77% of citizens (and 56% of Green party voters) supported the building of two new nuclear reactors.

Dr Hashemi-Nezhad said he was looking forward to working with Czech researchers. One of our goals here in the Institute of Nuclear Science is to undertake and promote innovative and cutting-edge research in the nuclear sciences, with a scope and a focus leading to outstanding national and international recognition.

Contact: Sarah Stock

Phone: 02 9114 0748

Email: 2902150211592145595a5e2d413c103b0b117e3d0f1c5b2220