NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Our Department's field of study is nuclear reactions and radiation, their applications, and their consequences. We generate, control, and apply nuclear reactions and radiation for the benefit of society and the environment. We contribute to the innovations needed for a major global expansion of nuclear energy and to educating the next generation of leaders of the global nuclear energy enterprise, while also laying the foundations for new applications of nuclear and radiation science and technology.


To achieve these goals research at the Department focuses on three strong application areas of great societal importance: fission energy, fusion energy, and nuclear security.

In addition, we emphasize three cross-cutting research commons:

  1. analysis, modeling and simulation of nuclear systems;
  2. materials in extreme environments; and
  3. radiation sources, detectors, and measurements.

While the three main application areas provide a focus for research and drive the Department's specialized educational offerings, especially at the graduate level, the three research commons enable new connections to be made across the Department at the frontiers of nuclear science and engineering.



Fission technology has been synonymous with nuclear power generation since the 1950. Today, fission is entering a new era – one in which new-generation reactors, upgraded existing plants, and new fuel cycle strategies will redefine nuclear power's role in the world's overall energy supply. more


The sun and stars are powered by fusion: nuclear reactions that create heavier elements from lighter ones. If this energy source can be harnessed at the human scale, it has the advantages of inexhaustible fuel resources and greatly reduced proliferation and environmental concerns. more
PSFC : Alcator C-Mod

Nuclear Security

Throughout its history, the nuclear community has faced a two-fold challenge: fulfill the promise of low-cost, zero-carbon power generation, while also preventing proliferation of nuclear weaponry. more
Future of Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Future of Nuclear Power


Radiation Sources, Detection & Measurement

A major goal of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department is to advance the core disciplines needed to achieve new, beneficial applications of radiation science and technology. These disciplines encompass the production and control of radiation and the study and application of radiation interactions with matter. more

Modeling & Simulation

Exciting new developments in multi-scale and multi-physics modeling, coupled with the rapidly advancing capabilities of high-performance computers and associated algorithmic and simulation methodologies, are making it possible to simulate nuclear systems with much higher fidelity than ever before. more

Materials in Extreme Environments

Limits on materials behavior are among the greatest technical obstacles to improving the safety and economic performance of nuclear energy systems. Ensuring the viability of structural and other materials in the aging fleet of commercial LWR power reactors will be critical to current efforts to extend the life of these plants beyond 60 years. more

Department of Nuclear Science & Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 24-107, Cambridge, MA 02139

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