Could Nuclear Modelling Techniques Help the National Efforts to Combat Covid-19?

NW Covid banner 

“Over many decades nuclear scientists and engineers have developed advanced techniques for modelling the behaviour of nuclear reactors under normal operation and accident conditions. These techniques have also been extended to other nuclear facilities and systems such as; decommissioning, nuclear and waste processing. Much of the phenomenology is analogous to the spread of a virus during a pandemic. For instance, the neutron multiplication factor in a nuclear reactor, k-effective, is in many ways analogous to the Reproduction Number (RO) in a pandemic. The transport of fission products on aerosols resulting from a nuclear reactor severe accident has many similarities with the spread of a virus on airborne aerosols. The presenters will explore such similarities and how the advanced modelling techniques developed in the nuclear industry can contribute to the simulation of the spread of a virus during a pandemic.”

Speaker biographies: 

Prof Christopher Pain 

Imperial College London 


Professor Pain leads the Applied Modelling and Computation Group (AMCG) at Imperial College London (ICL). AMCG is one of Imperial’s largest research groups comprising approximately 60 scientists. Prof. Pain is also the director of the Data Assimilation Lab in the Data Science Institute at ICL and holds visiting professorships at several universities.  


He works extensively on nuclear and environmental modelling. As well as leading the modelling on several EPSRC-funded projects and consortia, Prof. Pain co-led the Royal Society’s Environmental and Aerosol Transmission group, which is part of RAMP (Rapid Assistance in Modelling the Pandemic), which coordinates the voluntary modelling response to COVID-19. 


Prof Ali Tehrani CEng FNucI FIMechE 

Office for Nuclear Regulation 


Professor Tehrani has considerable experience of the nuclear industry in a wide range of roles, many at a senior level, developing safety enhancements, codes and methods supporting many operating facilities. 


Ali is a Principal Nuclear Safety Inspector at the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and has led the assessment of UK-EPR and AP1000 designs in the areas of Fault Studies, Severe Accident and containment thermal hydraulics performance within the UK’s Generic Design Assessment and construction. 


He works closely with international regulators to enhance plant safety features at the design stage by focusing on regulatory concerns and safety standards and supports the development of strategic research activities by OECD NEA, and also played a leading role in ONR’s response to the events at Fukushima Daiichi. 


Ali is a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and leads a number of challenging and complex research activities developing CFD and multi-physics codes to improve understanding of the plant performance in accident conditions. 


Register here button

  • Tue 28 Sep 2021
  • Mon 27 Sep 2021
  • Online, ,