The Nuclear Waste Services Research Support Office (RSO) is a dedicated office that supports the delivery of independent evidence-based research to underpin implementation of a UK Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

A collaboration between Nuclear Waste Services, The University of Manchester and the University of Bristol, our mission is to harness the UK’s vast array of academic research capabilities in geological disposal science and technology and to identify and develop research to support the safe geological disposal of the UK’s higher activity radioactive wastes.

We identify and coordinate needs-driven research in geological disposal and our research programme includes wholly funded research, part funded research with UKRI and academic and industry partners, PhD studentships, and engagement in international projects.

To become a part of RSO’s community of impartial researchers, please get in touch with us.

The UK Government is committed to implementing geological disposal for the safe and secure management of higher-activity radioactive waste over the long term. In December 2018 the UK Government launched a new consent-based policy to identify a suitable location for a geological disposal facility (GDF). In January 2019 the Welsh Government launched their policy for the geological disposal of higher activity radioactive waste.  Nuclear Waste Services is the UK developer for a GDF, which has been identified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP).

Our vision

Our vision is to bring together UK academic institutions to form collaborative, long-term research partnerships focused on all aspects of geological disposal. This national partnership programme fosters a multi-disciplinary approach to radioactive waste management, and our academic insights will underpin the project successes and support the development of the next generation of researchers in this area.

We are delighted to be working in partnership with The University of Bristol and NWS on this exciting new venture to deliver world-leading, high quality, relevant research that underpins the UK’s radioactive waste disposal programme.


Professor Kath Morris, The University of Manchester

Our aims

The RSO aims to:

  • Deliver academic research outputs that align more closely with Nuclear Waste Services needs.
  • Centrally manage research and deliver more coordinated and targeted research.
  • Improve contextual understanding and engagement within this stakeholder group.
  • Capitalise on economic opportunities from universities and other funding bodies, to drive forward research.

Key research teams within our partner universities will benefit from funding that will enable them to develop the next generation of researchers. This will produce a community of scientists with a specialised knowledge of geological disposal of radioactive waste, and the social issues that surround it. Having this knowledge and expertise coordinated across the UK’s academic institutions allows regulators and supply chain companies to tap into the latest research and thinking to inform their strategies.

Female researcher in Dalton Nuclear Institute

Our people

Discover more about the project team and discipline leads that make up our Research Support Office members.

Image of an illustrated periodic table

Our research disciplines

Discover the key research disciplines underpinning the RWM technical programme.

Contact us

We welcome opportunities to connect with the research community, industry and the general public.