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Fuel PIE - Metallographer

Job Introduction

The Post Irradiation Examination (PIE) team supports a number of large, long-term projects on behalf of several of NNL’s major customers. The team provides information on the performance of reactor materials supporting the on going operation of the UK Naval fleet, the UK’s AGR stations and a wider customer base. This role is primarily based at Windscale Laboratory, but may also include periods at Workington Laboratory or Central Laboratory.

As part of our growth strategy, a vacancy has arisen for an experienced Metallographer/Materials Scientist to contribute to the on going development of NNL’s active metallography capability.

The role requires the successful candidate to take responsibility for the microscopy (optical and electron) measurements performed on irradiated nuclear fuel in support of reactor safety cases and improvement of reactor operating conditions. The role also requires participation in the development of new experimental techniques, and maintenance of existing techniques for the measurement of physical properties of irradiated fuel and materials.

Role Responsibility

  • Contribute to the on going development of NNL Metallography and optical microscopy capability through interaction with key stakeholders, such as customers and academic partners.
  • Maintain awareness of developments in metallurgy specialist field.
  • Develop materials preparation and testing methods within the hot cells.
  • Assist in the training and technical development of others in the metallurgy field.
  • Undertake routine Metallography/materials analysis as required. 
  • Support the development of new equipment and techniques for measurement and analysis.
  • Ensure all work is completed safely and accurately maintaining traceability and quality at all times.
  • Communicate with staff across teams.

The Ideal Candidate

Essential Skills/Qualifications

  • Educated to degree level in Materials Science/Metallurgy/Applied Physics or equivalent level of experience in a metallurgy/materials lab
  • Microscopy experience (optical and/or electron microscopy)
  • Demonstrable experience in the analysis of materials performance, such as structure/property relationships, radiation damage, corrosion
  • Proven experience of Product & process development trials
  • A proven aptitude for problem solving.
  • Good communication and team working skills.
  • Good IT and technical report writing skills.
  • SC Cleared (or ability to become so).
  • Under the terms of NNL's Head Contract, this vacancy is open to UK nationals only, who are prepared to undergo clearance to SC level.

Desirable Skills/Qualifications

  • Knowledge of ultrasonic and mechanical test methods
  • Knowledge of advanced electron optical sample preparation (SEM, TEM etc)
  • Knowledge of titanium materials and nickel base superalloys
  • Experience in the design of experiments involving novel/unusual materials.
  • Classified radiation worker with active area working experience.
  • Previous experience of remote handling techniques would be an advantage.
  • Aptitude for problem solving.

About the Company

We play a key role in the UK and global nuclear industry. That means reducing the cost of clean-up and decommissioning, maintaining critical skills and attracting talented new people to the industry. We're the only UK organisation with the skills, facilities and expertise to provide technical support to all aspects of the nuclear industry. What's more, we pride ourselves on offering quality, value and service to every one of our customers.

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