The Great Bristol Shake off - Making Our World Earthquake Safe


Can fake earthquakes help safeguard nuclear reactors against natural disasters? 

Can fake earthquakes help safeguard nuclear reactors against natural disasters? Visitors to this year's Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition will be given the opportunity to find out for themselves thanks to research from the University of Bristol, in collaboration with EDF Energy.

Members of the public will be able to explore the interactive exhibit at the free festival to celebrate the most exciting cutting-edge science and technology in the UK, running in London from Monday 1 to Sunday 7 July.

Professor Colin Taylor, Dr Adam Crewe and colleagues will demonstrate in 'The great Bristol shake off' how simulating earthquakes could help protect nuclear reactors against natural disasters. Bristol’s “shaking table” has already been used to understand the behaviour of the graphite cores of nuclear reactors during earthquakes.

Nuclear power stations are designed to operate safely in the most extreme of conditions and as part of this process EDF Energy has been researching how a seismic event might affect their reactors. To better understand this, they commissioned the University of Bristol to develop an experiment that would test the capability of a reactor to withstand an earthquake of a magnitude not seen in the UK before.

Read more at University of Bristol

Image: A member of the public visiting 'The great Bristol shake off' (Credit: Joanne Fryer)