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Irradiated Fuel Characterisation Scientist

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

Job Introduction

Job Description for Irradiated Fuel Characterisation Scientist: 

NNL is where your understanding of reactors fuels the nation. As part of our Fuel Reactor & Reprocessing capability, you’ll play a vital role in developing the UK fuel cycle in line with advances in new technology and new processes. As old reactors reach the end of their lifespan, we need experts like you, with the technical skills to virtually model scenarios that not only enable us to explore new ways of managing the inputs and outputs of reactors, but also pave the way for the implementation of smaller, cleaner revolutionary new reactors. This is a place where you can use your knowledge and expertise to do long term meaningful work for years to come. 

The roles sit within two of NNL’s Post Irradiation Examination (PIE) teams; the Defence Materials and Metallography teams which comprise of technical experts and specialists responsible for leading and developing the post irradiation examination of nuclear fuel. This area has a growing workload associated with current programmes, developing workstreams (spent fuel evaluation in support of nationally important programmes) and emerging requirements supporting development of new nuclear reactor technologies. It supports the safe and efficient operation of reactors and provides the technical underpinning for long term management and disposal of irradiated fuel.

The positions support this area by collecting and analysing data on irradiated fuel characteristics and testing. They will also involve aspects of measurement technique development including implementing new techniques/methods and assisting in improvement of existing techniques.  In addition to undertaking work in the UK’s high active fuel examination facility, the role may include the requirement to visit customer and supplier sites based in the UK.

The role holders will analyse data collected from fuel tested and examined in NNL’s active handling facilities in order to provide reports of findings for internal and external stakeholders. Successful applicants will also be required to understand and operate experimental rigs for characterisation and testing of irradiated fuel.

Under supervision of technical leads, the role holder will co-ordinate and deliver tasks required within to agreed time, cost and quality requirements.

The role holders will need to provide the highest quality data output achievable, and ensure maintenance of those standards through appropriate written guidance or procedures.

Training and development towards a position as a specialist expert in the PIE field will be provided, working alongside recognised industry experts.

Role Responsibility

Main Responsibilities for Irradiated Fuel Characterisation Scientist: 

  • Technical delivery of tasks in order to ensure that standards of safety, cost, quality, scientific merit and time are met. 
  • Directly undertake data-recording tasks and experimental work as required. 
  • Maintain accurate records in accordance with procedures
  • Engage with internal stakeholders to develop experimental approaches and techniques, ensuring data capture is suitable to address the customer requirements (knowledge gaps associated with spent fuel and materials post-irradiation). 
  • Contribute to technical and research programmes as part of an integrated team including modellers, experimental scientists and engineers.
  • Provide advice and guidance on technical issues in their own working area. 
  • With guidance from the technical leads in the area, progress new opportunities for innovation, technology development and/or customer service in his/her own area of work. 
    • Interpret analytical data produced to characterise reactor irradiated materials.
    • Apply existing knowledge and expertise to assist in developing new areas of business.
  • Contribute to the improvement of working practices and environment particularly in their own area of responsibility. 

The Ideal Candidate

Essential Criteria for Irradiated Fuel Characterisation Scientist: 

  • Degree in a science-based discipline
  • Demonstrable experience in data handling, manipulation and analysis in an industrial environment.
  • A track record of applying academically acquired knowledge in practical applications.
  • Excellent data-taking skills, aptitude for experimental work.
  • Positive attitude to safety, security and other EHSS&Q requirements.
  • Good communication and team working skills.
  • Positive attitude to learning and development.
  • Ability to work in collaboration with others, developing ideas that have been proposed by others within the team, whilst also providing own input.
  • A pro-active and flexible approach to delivery in making sure that requirements and expectations are met.
  • Successful applicants must be a UK national and the offer is subject to successful attainment of SC security clearance.

Desirable Criteria for Irradiated Fuel Characterisation Scientist: 

  • Prior experience of active area work.


About the Company

Grounded in robust science and decades of experience, National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) is the authoritative voice in the UK and beyond for technological development within the nuclear power sector.

Our unparalleled understanding of the science, challenges and opportunities makes us an unrivalled authority and partner in the field, providing experts, technologies, and access to cutting-edge facilities to organisations around the world.

Harnessing potential technologies and translating them into to industry-ready solutions means our pioneering approach spearheads international improvement and technological progress.

We work on projects as small as drilling a hole to analyse underground wastes with our integrated micro drilling technology, or as large as developing state-of-the-art power systems for spacecraft, based on radioactive materials

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.

Recruitment Agency Notice

We operate a strict Preferred Supplier List (PSL) for the provision of recruitment services. Only agencies on our PSL may provide CVs and only when the role is released to them by our recruitment team. We will not accept unsolicited CVs from suppliers not currently on our PSL. We explicitly reserve the right to add candidate details from unsolicited CVs from non-PSL agencies into our own candidate database and to pursue/hire such candidate(s) without any obligation, financial or otherwise, to the agency concerned.

National Nuclear Laboratory

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