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Professor William James Nuttall

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Professor of Energy
  • Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
  • School of Engineering & Innovation
  • william.nuttall

Professional biography

Bill Nuttall is Professor of Energy, he joined the Open University in October 2012, having spent ten years at the University of Cambridge most recently as Senior Lecturer in Technology Policy. Much of his work has focussed on technology and policy issues of civil nuclear power. He has had a leading role in studies devoted to particular energy-related materials including plutonium, helium, uranium, thorium and hydrogen. Much of that work is on-going. Nuttall’s research techniques have included system dynamics especially as applied to problems in resource depletion.
Professor Nuttall’s career started in experimental physics and this technical background informs his interest in energy and technology issues. Beyond energy he has written on matters of industrial policy and, reflecting his physics background, he maintains an active interest in applied complexity science, including spatial agent-based simulation, particularly of energy-related problems.
Professor Nuttall discusses nuclear energy policy in this short video.
Professor Nuttall is Chair of the Management Committee of OU Energy.



Research interests

Main Research Interests

  • Civil Nuclear Energy Technology and Policy

  • Energy and Complexity

  • Hydrogen Futures



Current Funded Research Projects

Management of Nuclear Risk Issues: Environmental, Financial and Safety (NREFS)
Contributing to an EPSRC funded (Ref: EP/K007580/1) project researching post-accident mitigation, risk preparedness and precautionary evacuation policy in the context of severe civil nuclear power accidents.
The OU is one of four UK universities collaborating with the Indian Department of Atomic Energy as part of the Indo-UK civil nuclear research partnership.





Teaching interests

Recent Teaching activities:

T213: Energy and Sustainability - contributed on nuclear energy matters. Study guide 10 and 11 and also the module Forum.
TXR120/T176 Residential School - Energy Conversion Exercise
T317 Innovation: Designing for Change - "critical reader"




Impact and engagement

Follow Professor Nuttall on LinkedIn and at TheConversation




External collaborations

Imperial-Cambridge-Open Centre for

Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy



Sankey-Diagram-based insights into the hydrogen economy of today (2016-05-25)
Bakenne, Adetokunboh; Nuttall, William and Kazantzis, Nikolaos
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 41(19) (pp. 7744-7753)
Life-cycle impacts from novel thorium–uranium-fuelled nuclear energy systems (2015-09-01)
Ashley, S. F.; Fenner, R. A.; Nuttall, W. J. and Parks, G. T.
Energy Conversion and Management, 101 (pp. 136-150)
Hydrogen cryomagnetics for decentralised energy management and superconductivity (2015-02)
Glowacki, B. A.; Nuttall, W. J.; Hanley, E.; Kennedy, L. and O’Flynn, D.
Journal of Superconductivity and Novel Magnetism, 28(2) (pp. 561-571)
High tension electricity: new multi-scale complexities in the electricity system (2015)
Bompard, Ettore; Masera, Marcelo and Nuttall, William J.
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 96 (pp. 327-333)
Technology and policy issues relating to future developments in research and radioisotope production reactors (2014-11)
Nuttall, William J. and Storey, Peter
Progress in Nuclear Energy, 77 (pp. 201-213)
Fuel panics: insights from spatial agent-based simulation (2014-08)
Upton, Eben and Nuttall, William James
IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 15(4) (pp. 1499-1509)
The siting of UK nuclear reactors (2014)
Grimston, Malcolm; Nuttall, William J. and Vaughan, Geoff
Journal of Radiological Protection, 34(2) (R1-R24)
Fuel cycle modelling of open cycle thorium-fuelled nuclear energy systems (2014)
Ashley, S. F.; Lindley, B. A.; Parks, G. T.; Nuttall, W. J.; Gregg, R.; Hesketh, K. W.; Kannan, U.; Krishnani, P. D.; Singh, B.; Thakur, A.; Cowper, M. and Talamo, A.
Annals of Nuclear Energy, 69 (pp. 314-330)
An economic evaluation framework for inherently safe membrane reactor modules in the presence of uncertainty: the case for process safety investment and risk reduction (2013-05)
Koc, Reyyan; Kazantzis, Nikolaus K.; Nuttall, William J. and Ma, Yi Hua
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 26(3) (pp. 468-477)
Open cycle thorium–uranium-fuelled nuclear energy systems (2013-04)
Ashley, Steve; Fenner, Richard; Nuttall, William and Parks, Geoffrey
Proceedings of the ICE: Energy, 166(EN2) (pp. 74-81)
Beyond the Helium conundrum (2013)
Glowacki, B. A.; Nuttall, W. J. and Clarke, R. H.
IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 23, Article 500113(3)
Nuclear Energy: Thorium fuel has risks (2012-12-06)
Ashley, Stephen F.; Parks, Geoffrey T.; Nuttall, William J.; Boxall, Colin and Grimes, Robin G.
Nature, 492(7427) (pp. 31-33)
Minimising the economic cost and risk to accelerator-driven subcritical reactor technology: The case of designing for flexibility: Part 1 (2012-02)
Steer, Steven J.; Cardin, Michel-Alexandre; Nuttall, William J.; Parks, Geoffrey T. and Gonçalves, Leonardo V.N.
Nuclear Engineering and Design, 243 (pp. 135-147)
Resources: Stop squandering helium (2012)
Nuttall, William J.; Clarke, Richard H. and Glowacki, Bartek A.
Nature, 485(7400) (pp. 573-575)
Economic assessment of inherently safe membrane reactor technology options integrated into IGCC power plants (2012)
Koc, Reyyan; Kazantzis, Nikolaos K.; Nuttall, William J. and Ma, Yi Hua
Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 90(5) (pp. 436-450)
Minimizing the economic cost and risk to accelerator-driven subcritical reactor technology. Part 2: The case of designing for flexibility (2012)
Cardin, Michel-Alexandre; Steer, Steven J.; Nuttall, William J.; Parks, Geoffrey T.; Gonçalves, Leonardo V.N. and de Neufville, Richard
Nuclear Engineering and Design, 243 (pp. 120-134)
Too big to fail — lessons for today and the future from British industrial policy, 1960–1990 (2011-10)
Nuttall, William J.; Holweg, Matthias and Leybovich, Michael E.
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 78(8) (pp. 1286-1298)
Predicting the contractual cost of unplanned shutdowns of power stations: an accelerator-driven subcritical reactor case study (2011-08)
Steer, Steven J.; Nuttall, William J.; Parks, Geoffrey T. and Gonçalves, Leonardo V.N.
Electric Power Systems Research, 81(8) (pp. 1662-1671)
Evaluating government's policies on promoting smart metering diffusion in retail electricity markets via agent-based simulation (2011)
Zhang, Tao and Nuttall, William J.
Journal of Product Innovation Management, 28(2) (pp. 169-186)
Ongoing ascent to the helium production plateau—insights from system dynamics (2010-06)
Cai, Zhiming; Clarke, Richard H.; Glowacki, Bartek A.; Nuttall, William J. and Ward, Nick
Resources Policy, 35(2) (pp. 77-89)
Generating the option of a two-stage nuclear renaissance (2010)
Grimes, Robin W. and Nuttall, William
Science, 329(5993) (pp. 799-803)
Dynamics of the UK natural gas industry: system dynamics modelling and long-term energy policy analysis (2009)
Chyong Chi, Kong; Nuttall, William J. and Reiner, David M.
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 76(3) (pp. 339-357)
A new energy security paradigm for the twenty-first century (2008-10)
Nuttall, William J. and Manz, Devon L.
Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 75(8) (pp. 1247-1259)
The case for a new energy research, development and promotion policy for the UK (2008)
Jamasb, Tooraj; Nuttall, William J. and Pollitt, Michael
Energy Policy, 36(12) (pp. 4610-4614)
Fuel mix diversification incentives in liberalized electricity markets: a Mean–Variance Portfolio theory approach (2008)
Roques, Fabien; Newbery, David M. and Nuttall, William J.
Energy Economics, 30(4) (pp. 1831-1849)
The present status of nuclear third-party liability and nuclear insurance (2016-06)
Ashley, Stephen F.; Nuttall, William J. and Heffron, Raphael J.
In: Heffron, Raphael J. and Little, Gavin F. M. eds. Delivering energy law and policy in the EU and the US: A reader (pp. 251-255)
ISBN : 978-0-7486-9679-6 | Publisher : Edinburgh University Press | Published : Edinburgh
Smart Meters, Grids and Criminality (2015)
Nuttall, William; Bompard, Ettore and Masera, Marcelo
In: Gibson, David and Slovak, Jan eds. Building Sustainable R&D Centres in Emerging Technology Regions (pp. 131-143)
ISBN : 978-80-210-7854-3 | Publisher : Masaryk University | Published : Brno, Czech Republic
Nuclear Energy in the UK: Safety Culture and Industrial Organisation (2014)
Nuttall, William J. and Earp, John E.
In: Nam, Ilchong and Rothwell, Geoffrey eds. New Nuclear Power Industry Procurement Market: International Experiences. Research Monographs (2014-01) (pp. 142-183)
ISBN : 978-89-8063902-1 | Publisher : Korea Development Institute | Published : Sejong-Si, South Korea
The Future of Helium as a Natural Resource (2012-04-26)
Nuttall, William; Clarke, Richard and Glowacki, Bartek eds.
Routledge Explorations in Environmental Economics
ISBN : 978-0-415-57697-0 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon, UK
Security of Energy Supply in Europe: Natural Gas, Nuclear and Hydrogen (2010)
Lévêque, François; Glachant, Jean-Michel; Barquin, Julian; von Hirschhausen, Christian; Holz, Franziska and Nuttall, William J. eds.
Loyola de Palacio Series on European Energy Policy
ISBN : 978-1-84980-032-7 | Publisher : Edward Elgar | Published : Cheltenham, UK
Energy and Innovation: Structural Change and Policy Implications (2010)
van Geenhuizen, Marina; Nuttall, William J.; Gibson, David and Oftedal, Elin M. eds.
International Series on Technology Policy and Innovation
ISBN : 9781557535788 | Publisher : Purdue University Press | Published : West Lafayette, IN
Renewable Integration in Island Electricity Systems – A System Dynamics Assessment (2016-01-26)
Matthew, George; Nuttall, William J.; Mestel, Ben; Dooley, Laurence and Ferrão, Paulo Manuel
In : 2nd Asia-Pacific Conference on Complex Systems Design & Management (24-26 Feb 2016, Singapore) (pp. 107-119)
Insights into the Thermal Generation Futures of Isolated Island Electricity Systems Using System Dynamics (2015-08)
Matthew, George Jr. S. ; Nuttall, William; Mestel, Ben and Dooley, Laurence
In : Proceedings of the 33rd International Conference of the System Dynamics Society (19-23 July 2015, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
The early phase of a radiation accident: revisiting thinking on evacuation and exclusion zones (2013)
French, Simon; Argyris, Nikolaos; Nuttall, William; Moriarty, John and Thomas, Philip
In : 10th ISCRAM Conference (12-15 May 2013, Baden-Baden, Germany) (pp. 296-300)
A system dynamics study of uranium and the nuclear fuel cycle (2013)
Rooney, Matthew; Nuttall, William and Kazantzis, Nikolas
In : 31st International Conference of the System Dynamics Society (21-25 July 2013, Cambridge Massachusetts USA)
Smart energy grids and complexity science (2012)
Bompard, Ettore; Connors, Steve; Fulli, Gianluca; Han, Bei; Masera, Marcelo; Mengolini, Anna and Nuttall, William J.
In : Smart Energy Grids and Complexity Science (25 June 2012, Petten NL) (pp. 44-47)
The future of helium? A global agency to oversee production, storage, supply and use of helium gas and liquid (2012)
Scurlock, Ralph; Clarke, Richard; Glowacki, Bartek and Nuttall, William
In : 12th Cryogenics IIR International Conference (11-14 September 2012, Dresden, Germany)
On the proliferation resistance of thorium-uranium nuclear fuel (2012)
Ashley, Steve; Nuttall, William; Parks, Geoffrey and Worrall, Andrew
In : UK Project on Nuclear Issues, Annual Conference 2012 (10 May 2012, London)
Next Steps for Hydrogen - physics, technology and the future (2016-05-26)
Nuttall, William; Glowacki, Bartek and Krishnamurthy, Satheesh
Institute of Physics, London.

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