Nuclear science
MOX fuel core, Ikata nuclear power plant, Japan. Photo: Shikoku Electric Power Co, Inc., Kagawa, Japan.

Nuclear science is the study of the atomic nuclei and their application, including in nuclear power plants, atomic theory and radiation.

In nuclear science, identification, collation, development and dissemination of basic scientific and technical knowledge is required to ensure safe, reliable and economic operation of current nuclear systems and to develop next-generation technologies.

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NEA work on this topic

The NEA nuclear science programme is developed and executed by the Nuclear Science Committee (NSC), comprising high-level scientific experts from all NEA member countries. Asecretarial support to the NSC is provided by the Division of Nuclear Science.

The NEA's objectives in this area are to:

  • help advance the existing scientific knowledge needed to enhance the performance and safety of current nuclear systems
  • contribute to building a solid scientific and technical basis for the development of future-generation nuclear systems
  • support the preservation of essential knowledge in the field of nuclear science.

The NSC maintains close co-operation with the NEA Data Bank, because of the mutual benefit gained between the programme of work of the Data Bank and the type of activities pursued within the nuclear science programme.