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Head of Non-Proliferation and Safeguards Strategy

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

With the nuclear industry perfectly positioned to strengthen the UK’s place in the world as a scientific superpower, NNL is recruiting to ensure we play our part. 

Security and non-proliferation (S&NP) is one of our four areas of strategic focus, and we have the skills and knowledge to become a strategic authority in the field. We will play our part in what is a critical enabler to the peaceful use of the nuclear materials and technology which we know are essential to tackle climate change, restore our environment and improve our health. 

As custodian of critical nuclear infrastructure and provider of a broad range nuclear capabilities, at NNL we are perfectly positioned to make a considerable contribution. This is a key opportunity to support our purpose – nuclear science to benefit society. 

Accountable to the director for International Engagement, Security and Non-Proliferation, this senior hire will work collaboratively with the Head of Nuclear Security strategy, jointly responsible for the setting, endorsement, and driving forward of NNL’s security and non-proliferation vision & strategy.
You will be instrumental in NNL achieving its ambition to become a strategic authority in the field, working in partnership with HMG to support policy deployment and ensure greatest value to society. You will achieve this whilst ensuring we deliver on our five strategic objectives:

  • Leadership: We will demonstrate leadership by unleashing the potential of NNL’s broad capability, delivering value against key strategic S&NP needs (with an emphasis on supporting the priorities of Government).  
  • Talent: We will foster the talent required for existing and future nuclear programmes, working with Government and across UK nuclear to establish a talent pipeline in support of the domestic and international objectives.
  • Identity: We will embed an S&NP ‘identity’ across the organisation, ensuring full integration with enabling strategies and major programmes (including those of our colleagues in Science and Technology, our Delivery Organisation, Customer Experience, and HR). We will create a clear, authoritative external ‘brand’.
  • Partnerships: We will establish key UK and international partnerships to strengthen capability and influence (e.g. public and private sector nuclear, NGOs, Government, multinationals).
  • Knowledge: We will invest in and push the boundaries of S&NP related science, technology and innovation, ensuring appropriate demand signals are placed on core science, innovation and strategic research programmes.

Role Responsibility

As a recognised leader in the field, you will build national and international relationships, including with international organisations such as the IAEA. You will work closely with HMG departments (BEIS, FCDO, MoD and others), interpreting the national and geopolitical landscape. You will understand the implications of HMG priorities (such as Net Zero, Integrated Defence Review, Build Back Better) on proliferation risk, including development and response to new and emerging reactor and fuel cycle technologies. You will capture and translate external drivers to identify, develop and lead strategic initiatives to meet our objectives. 

As an engaging, visible and credible leader you will drive forward the agenda to embed S&NP identity across the organisation, supporting our wider organisational objectives of embedding a purpose-led culture.

As an emerging area, the post holder will be required to develop and adapt their strategy as our environment and understanding of the role NNL can play evolves.

What we’ll expect from you:

Grasp the opportunity to develop and execute strategy, working with the executive, business leadership team, and customer executive, to achieve NNL’s ambition to become a strategic authority on nuclear non-proliferation:

  • Be agile in developing, delivering and adapting strategy to capture opportunities and reflect the evolving national/international policy, commercial, and nuclear non-proliferation environment.
  • Develop and sponsor business cases for investment in capabilities including people, equipment, and facilities to ensure NNL has the tools it needs to achieve its ambition.
  • Spot opportunities, develop and manage a portfolio of strategic initiatives.
  • Identify and establish key strategic partnerships with UK nuclear (public, private and academic sectors), enabling access to complementary expertise, facilities etc.
  • Unlock additional value from existing operations by developing and executing opportunities to demonstrate leadership in the field of nuclear non-proliferation, engaging collaboratively across NNL.
  • Ensure alignment with key Government objectives and strategic priorities, positioning NNL as a trusted partner working on behalf of HMG and wider UKPLC.

Develop and maintain effective formal and informal relationships with key stakeholders, at all levels of seniority:

  • Demonstrate partnership working with key relevant Government stakeholders by understanding and responding to national and international policy priorities (BEIS, MoD, FCDO, CPACC, DEFRA).
  • Build key industrial relationships in current and future nuclear programmes to support growth of UK nuclear capability.
  • Strengthen positive links with nuclear regulators including the Office for Nuclear Regulation in the area of nuclear safeguards.
  • Establish effective relationships with key academic institutions in the field of safeguards & non-proliferation to support the development of partnerships (working closely with NNL Universities Lead.

Provide steer to NNL’s strategic research, core science & innovation programmes, providing advice and support to the emerging S&NP research programme:

  • Provide dynamic leadership within and outside the organization, increasing the visibility of NNL’s nuclear non-proliferation strategic capabilities.
  • Represent NNL and UKat national and international events, committees, and expert groups.
  • Work in partnership with the Head of Nuclear Security by engaging across the organisation to develop and embed NNL’s security culture and non-proliferation identity.
  • Work collaboratively with NNL marketing and communications to develop NNL’s external nuclear security and non-proliferation ‘brand’.
  • Support the development of senior and early career colleagues by providing expert guidance and thought leadership on nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation, including through exercising leadership in the emerging Community of Practice for nuclear security and non-proliferation.
  • Provide an authoritative voice on national and international nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation.

Ensure NNL’s nuclear security and non-proliferation strategy is fully integrated with all relevant aspects of our operation.

Provide the lead internal interface with the UK Support Programme to the IAEA (currently Programme Managed by NNL on behalf of BEIS).

The Ideal Candidate

You’ll need:

  • To be a recognised professional with senior management and leadership experience in the field of threat reduction, non-proliferation, safeguards and/or associated disciplines, such as the nuclear fuel cycle, or materials accountancy and control.
  • A thorough understanding of the UK and international nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation landscape, including policy, business and technology (including geopolitical implications).
  • A thorough understanding of nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation challenges and opportunities facing existing and future nuclear programmes.
  • A strategic mindset, with demonstrable experience of developing and delivering strategic initiatives to provide organisational impact and external influence.
  • Experience of working with Government and or multinational organisations, such as IAEA, ESARDA; and Non-Governmental Organisations active in this area.
  • Proven ability to communicate with clarity and engage with stakeholders of all levels of seniority across industry, academia and government.

About the Company

Do you want to be part of the future? At the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) we push the boundaries of science, technology, and innovation to ensure nuclear can continue to fulfil its vital role as a cornerstone of green industrial Britain and as a future enabler of carbon Net Zero.

We are recruiting for some key roles that will help to shape our organisation’s next phase of development. 

NNL is unique, successful, and internationally recognised for good reason. Our science, technology and innovation are at our core. We offer an unrivalled breadth of technical solutions through our people, facilities, and equipment. 

Nuclear science is everywhere– from x-rays and cancer treatment through providing the fuel sources for space exploration, to supplying almost 20% of the UK’s power needs. Nuclear power generation especially, will become even more important to the UK as we move away from relying on fossil fuels. If you want to be part of this incredible future, now’s your chance. 

NNL has a vision for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (ED&I) where NNL aims to be an inclusive workplace that attracts diverse talent through transparent and equal policies and procedures. We want you and the diverse mix of people that we employ, customers that we service and stakeholders that we influence to feel valued. We encourage a workplace culture where everyone can thrive with a sense of belonging.

National Nuclear Laboratory

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