About Whatisnuclear.com

By Nick Touran, Ph.D., P.E., , Reading time: 4 minutes

We are a group of nuclear engineers hoping to help the world learn some interesting and important information about nuclear energy. We find ourselves explaining things like waste recycling and passive safety over and over to an interested, diverse, and rather receptive audience. We aim to enlighten the public about the capabilities of nuclear energy so that society may embrace it as an improvement in many aspects over current energy sources. Someday, we may be able to run the planet purely on solar power or fusion, but until then, we consider nuclear fission to be the energy source with the best capacity to produce world-scale energy responsibly. This website is built entirely by volunteers. We have no funding and no ads.


In order for a technology to be convincingly superior to others, it must not only present compelling advantages, but also must concede to its weaknesses and demonstrate acceptable responses to its harshest criticism. Nuclear energy has drawbacks. We won’t try to cover these up, but rather will try to present them clearly and explain or propose solutions to the problems. Too many times have we read that this or that is the only thing that can save the planet. We will avoid this hysteria and strive to provide calm and true information and perspectives.


This page was originally started by nuclear engineering students at the University of Michigan, but we have since graduated and moved into various other institutions. All information and opinions on this site are our own perspectives, and do not represent the views of our employers. The site servers and DNS names are funded out of our contributors’ pockets and all writing is done for free on our own time.

Contacting us

You can reach us privately via the contact form or you can stir up some discussion publicly by posting on our Facebook site. Feel free to do either or both! We’d love to hear from you. If you want, you can encrypt your message against this public key.


Nick Touran

Nick Touran, Ph.D.

Articles, editing, sysadmin

I’m a reactor physicist working on the design of an advanced nuclear reactor for a nuclear innovation company, where I’ve been since 2009. I have a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan based on the multiobjective optimization of fast reactors using perturbation-based equilibrium cycle methods. Visit my personal home page.


Natallia Pinchuk


I’m Natallia. I was born in Belarus. I was a nuclear engineer working in industry and now I got my MBA and am working in consulting. I also have a BSE and MSE in nuclear engineering.

Brian Wagner

Brian Wagner


I’m Brian. I’m a nuclear engineer working in regulation. I have an MSE in nuclear engineering.


Articles, consultation
  • Dr. Robert Petroski, Ph.D., MIT
  • Dr. Jesse Cheatham, Ph.D., Univ. of Michigan
  • Dr. Brian Johnson, Ph.D., MIT
  • Adam Hoffman, Univ. of Michigan
  • Prof. Rachel Slaybaugh, Ph.D. Univ. of Wisconsin

Citing us

If you want to cite our entire site, use something like:

What is Nuclear? whatisnuclear.com. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

If you want to reference just a single page, it may look like:

Touran, Nick. "What is Nuclear Waste?" WhatIsNuclear, whatisnuclear.com/waste.html. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

If no Author is listed on a given article, just assume it is Nick Touran. Publication dates vary and things are continuously updated so the Accessed date is more better than nothing if no publication date is given.


We’re always looking for help in adding and maintaining content. If you find a typo or have a suggestion, feel free to open an issue on our github or send us a pull request. If you want to make a major contribution, contact us first to discuss. We will maintain expert editorial privilege on all content.