About us

The Nuclear Research Advisory Council (NRAC) reviews the Atomic Weapons Establishment's nuclear warhead research and capability maintenance programme.

Who we are

The NRAC membership consists of an external chairman and eight external members, appointed for three years, thereafter renewable biennially.

Typically they will be distinguished research scientists or engineers with experience in the fields of:

  • nuclear physics
  • energetic material
  • nuclear chemistry
  • nuclear engineering
  • missile research

They are assisted by officials from Defence Science and Technology, who also provide the secretariat. Other experts are co-opted when required for areas of specialist advice.


We are responsible for:

  • reviewing the UK’s nuclear warhead research and capability maintenance programme, including the requirement for above ground experiments and other facilities and techniques necessary to design, manufacture, sustain and operate a UK nuclear weapon capability in the absence of underground testing
  • examining the UK’s programme of international collaboration