The Authority made pioneering developments in nuclear power, overseeing the peaceful development of nuclear technology and performing much scientific research.
In the late 1980s the UKAEA was put into 'trading fund' mode, where it was required to act and account as though it were a commercial enterprise. In the 1990s the Authority was split, with the more commercial parts transferred into a public company AEA Technology, which was then floated on the London Stock Exchange, while the parts directly related to nuclear liabilities that would need decommissioning were retained.
Their modern role is to decommission nuclear facilities used for the UK's research and development program. According to their website their aim is to "essentially restore the sites for conventional use". It is also part of Europe's fusion power research program.
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