Recently, in the year 2008, the 70th anniversary of nuclear fission, which was discovered in 1938 by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann, was celebrated. In the next 15 years since the discovery a few landmark developments in nuclear fission and its application have followed, including among others, the creation of the first man-made nuclear reactor in 1942, the first atomic bomb explosion (1945) and the first generation of electricity by a nuclear reactor in 1951. The world's first commercial nuclear power station, Calder Hall in Sellafield, UK was opened in 1956. Since then, the nuclear fission and its applications became omnipresent both in science and in our day-by-day life. According to the World Nuclear Association, globally during the 1980s one new nuclear reactor started up every 17 days on average. In the year 2007, 14% of the world's electricity came from nuclear power. As of September 2009 in 31 countries 436 nuclear power plant units with an electric net capacity of about 370 GW are in operation and 53 plants with an installed capacity of 47 GW are in 15 countries under construction. In the UK, in 2009, nearly one fifth of the electricity was generated by the existing 19 nuclear power reactors. Following the UK Government's January 2008 decision to support the building of new nuclear power stations, plans have been announced to open four new plants in the UK by 2017. The programme described in this Standard Grant application covers research into nuclear fission and has both scientific and society- oriented impact and outreach. In fundamental research, one of the main goals of our research programme is to achieve a better understanding of the fission process and fission properties of very exotic nuclei. The specific type of the nuclear fission studied in this project - exotic beta-delayed fission - is believed to occur in the astrophysical r-process, which is responsible for production of the heaviest elements in Universe. In particular, theorists suggest that beta-delayed fission, together with the spontaneous and neutron-induced fission, is responsible for the so-called fission recylcing and the r-process termination by fission, the latter establishing the limit for the heaviest elements production in Nature. To achieve our goals, we will exploit a combination of charged-particle, fission and gamma-ray spectroscopy by using three complementary techniques: the mass separator ISOLDE (CERN, Geneva, Switzerland), the velocity filter SHIP (GSI, Darmstadt, Germany) and the fission spectrometer of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA, Tokai, Japan). Society-wise, in view of the new initiatives on nuclear power development by the UK government, many new specialists in nuclear industry will be required in the coming years. Our project, apart of pure fundamental nuclear fission research, will also provide the much needed specialized training of the young post-graduate students and post-doctoral researchers in the radiation and nuclear fission applications, detectors and techniques, including the nuclear waste management. .