Nuclear expert – Q&A with Prof Robin Grimes

GrimesThree years on from Fukushima, questions are still being asked about the long term impacts of radiation contamination for local communities and the wider environment. Public attitudes towards nuclear energy and perceptions of the associated risks have shifted globally, though not always in the same direction.

Visiting nuclear energy specialist Prof Robin Grimes, the current UK Foreign Office Chief Science Adviser, provided official advice on the 2011 Fukushima disaster and has been outspoken on nuclear energy in the context of climate change.

He is in New Zealand as a speaker at the National Energy Research Institute (NERI)’s annual energy conference in Wellington this week.

The Science Media Centre hosted an informal roundtable with Professor Grimes to answer journalists’ questions on:

  • lessons from Fukushima
  • the future of nuclear energy
  • nuclear energy in the context of climate change
  • hazard and risk, public perception of risk
  • waste disposal, technological innovations
  • views on New Zealand’s relationship to nuclear energy

You can watch video of the Q&A session with Prof Grimes by clicking on the link below.



Prof Robin Grimes, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office Chief Science Advisor and Professor of Materials Physics at Imperial College, where he has been Director of their nuclear engineering centre since 2008. He is also Principal Investigator of the Research Council’s UK Nuclear Fission Champion consortium project.

Prof Grimes has advised the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry into nuclear research requirements, and was part of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which provided official advice on the 2011 Fukushima disaster.