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What we do

Discover how we support the defence and security of the UK.

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Our history

Learn about our proud history and what makes up our DNA.

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Site safety and security

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Connecting communities

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About us

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Orion laser facility

Orion is one of the most powerful lasers and largest laser facilities in the UK.

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A unique national asset

We have unique nuclear expertise. We have a clear purpose and goals that set our direction.

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World-class expertise

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Working ethically

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Freedom of Information

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AWEsome education

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Local Liaison Committee

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Our regulators

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Supply chain

The supply chain is crucial to the delivery of our programme. What does it take to be a supplier.

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Local Liaison Committee

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International partners

We seek to drive better value and efficiencies through collaborative international relationships.

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Working at AWE

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Before you apply

Things to know before applying for a job.

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How to apply

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Current vacancies

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Radiation science

Radiation and systems science at AWE involves the use of computer simulations, supported by experiments, to provide the evidence required to underwrite the reliability of the UK’s nuclear deterrent.

This ensures that the system will function safely and reliably under a wide range of challenging and hostile environments. Computer modelling is used to simulate environments and conditions that can no longer be directly exercised (since the banning of underground nuclear tests).  Experiments are conducted at facilities in the UK and abroad to provide valuable simulation data which are used to validate the modelling codes.

Our researchers have formed extensive collaborations with UK-based and overseas universities and laboratories in this field; supporting academic research programmes and long-term projects.  Collaborations such as these bring additional benefits to UK science and industry beyond the immediate needs of the deterrent programme.

Research areas covered in this field include:

  • Radiation transport
  • System generated electromagnetic pulse
  • Transient radiation effects on electronics
  • Electromagnetic pulse
  • Thermo-mechanical effects
  • Diagnostics and sensors

Our facilities are used to support research including:

  • ASP – an accelerator used primarily to produce 3 MeV and 14 MeV neutrons, one of only a few sources of 14 MeV worldwide
  • EROS – a high-energy pulsed-electron beam generator for both energetic electron exposure and X-ray production experiments
  • AMPERE – a high-current pulsed power machine used to accelerate metal foils for “foil-slap” experiments
  • ICE – a current injection facility used to test hardness to transient currents, as would be generated by EMP or lightning, for example