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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Nuclear Energy in Malawi

The purpose of this dissertation was to conduct a technical assessment of reactor designs and establish the optimal reactor for deployment in Malawi. The assessment took into account site considerations, technical characteristics and performance, fuel performance, environmental factors and economics. The optimal reactor selection was carried out using the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) as a multi-criteria decision analysis tool. Weighting of the criteria was established using input from a selection of experts in the Malawi and the UK. The expert’s weightings prioritised safety approach and grid compatibility as the foremost criteria for reactor selection. The results of the analysis identified two reactors that were considered to best satisfy the criteria. These were the AP1000- a 1100MWe capacity pressurized water reactor developed by Westinghouse and the EC-6- a 700MWe boiling water reactor developed by Candu. Recommendations were made to establish a Nuclear Authority in Malawi in order to begin the process of becoming a nuclear powered nation, as well as timelines for implementation.


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.