National Nuclear Laboratory


Friday 14 October 2022

NNL joins UK space community at Leicester Space Park

UoL – Space Park Leicester – Art Show

The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) has opened a new presence at Space Park Leicester, joining others at the base for UK space researchers and businesses.

As the UK’s national laboratory for nuclear fission, NNL is working with academics and industry partners to develop spacecraft systems for the European Space Agency that provide reliable, long-lived power for harsh environments. We have created a process to extract Americium 241 from plutonium and repurpose it as fuel for systems developed by the University of Leicester, with support from the UK Space Agency, for use in future space missions.

NNL Account Director, Professor Tim Tinsley, said: “With the opening of an office at Space Park Leicester, we are committed to deepening our collaboration with the University of Leicester.

“This builds on 10 years of successful joint projects, delivering on our shared ambition for deployable space nuclear power.”

The move has been welcomed by Space Park Leicester which was created by the University of Leicester to provide an inspirational base for space researchers and businesses.

Space Park Leicester Executive Director, Professor Ambrosi, whose own work focuses on space instrumentation and space nuclear power systems, said: “The synergies between the UK’s world class space and nuclear sectors are exemplified by the long-standing collaboration between the National Nuclear Laboratory and the University of Leicester in the development of space nuclear power systems and in particular radioisotope power technologies.

“We are proud to welcome the National Nuclear Laboratory to Space Park Leicester as part of our expanding collaboration and we look forward to exploring new opportunities with NNL.”