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Nuclear Physicist

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

Job Introduction

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. 

As the national laboratory for nuclear fission in the UK, we are harnessing nuclear science to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. The most important asset for our future success is our people, it is their skills, knowledge and enthusiasm that drives our work and fuels our purpose.  

Whether it is accelerating a UK demonstration programme for Advanced Modular Reactors or delivering our first sustainable supply of medical radioisotopes since the 1960s, NNL will be at the forefront of game-changing advances that will help to transform people’s lives, now and in the future. 

A vacancy has arisen in the Nuclear and Reactor Physics team for a motivated, high calibre nuclear scientist with a particular interest in undertaking applied nuclear or reactor physics projects on behalf of our core customers supporting nuclear waste inventory calculations and nuclear decommissioning as well as in our Core Science Themes and NNL Strategic Investment areas such as Health & Nuclear Medicine or clean energy. Nuclear physics is one of the key activities in the support of current nuclear technology and the development of future UK nuclear technologies. 

Specific areas of work for this role could include but are not limited to:

  • Providing specialist technical support in the nuclear or reactor physics area ensuring the delivery of high-quality outputs:
  • Developing experience in a variety of techniques and coding languages by contributing to development of novel methods. These range from advancing the use of well-established techniques, to maintenance of codes or developing new methods 
  • Adapting existing codes to the identification of radionuclides for future medical treatments - Coordinating and delivering experiments with UK and international facilities to provide underpinning data or validation for codes
  • Supporting the operation, Post-Operational Clean Out (POCO) and decommissioning of legacy UK facilities with specialist computational codes and toolsets, as well as developing and improving methods in support of this. An example of this is the calculation of waste inventories of customers in the current UK Nuclear Fuel Cycle.
  • Provide specialist technical support primarily in the area of reactor technology such as Light Water Reactors (LWR), SMR, AMR.
  • Supporting, or leading where required, the calculation of waste inventories of customers in the current UK Nuclear Fuel cycle as well as developing and improving methods in support of this
  • Supporting the delivery of specialist training courses that help to protect UK and global nuclear infrastructure
  • Keeping abreast of developments in nuclear physics, applying them to designated work packages. 

The role provides the opportunity to develop and build on a well-rounded understanding of nuclear and reactor physics, combined with improving the understanding of techniques that are used to investigate such properties. The combination of these areas supports the development and delivery of programmes to support the safe operation of current and future nuclear applications across the whole industry.

The successful applicant will work closely with junior members of the team, providing mentoring and encouraging development in skills and knowledge of the wider capability. Support to achieve membership and chartership of a relevant professional institute will be given, if not already a member of such an organisation.

The successful applicant will be required to gain DV Clearance.

Location is flexible, although attendance at site (Sellafield, Risley, Preston, Stonehouse or Culham) will be required as deemed by work requirements specified by line manager.

Role Responsibility

Main Responsibilities for Nuclear Physicist:

  • Provide specialist technical support primarily in the area of Nuclear or reactor Physics to core customers and for NNL internal projects.
  • To carry out designated work packages to standards of safety, cost, quality and time adhering to NNL’s values and behaviours and maintain a high nuclear professionalism standard.
  • Carry out analysis and verification of results to the required quality.
  • Ensures all relevant legislative, regulatory and company procedures are understood and adhered to when delivering projects working within limits, e.g., budgetary, safety, quality, risk, security etc applicable to the role. 
  • Provide estimates of activities to deliver (internal and external) customer scope and requirements.
  • Produce accurate records of work carried out including technical reports and peer reviewed publications.
  • Maintain good contacts with individuals/organisations at all status levels internal and external to the company.
  • Take responsibility and be pro-active in the development, application, review and assessment of appropriate technical processes and systems applicable to their work area.
  • Engagement and collaboration with national and international institutions, representing NNL as appropriate.
  • Maintain professional membership via an established UK institution with a plan to become a Chartered Scientist, Physicists or Engineer.

The Ideal Candidate

Essential Criteria for Nuclear Physicist:

  • Relevant scientific, mathematics or engineering degree combined with a breadth of experience in the nuclear industry. 
  • Demonstrated positive attitude towards Health & Safety, Security, Environment, and Quality requirements.
  • Ability to demonstrate Technical leadership and delivery of programmes of work to customer requirements.
  • Demonstrable evidence of providing technical advice to customers in the area of nuclear physics.
  • Ability to work collaboratively across different sectors with diverse external stakeholders including Universities.
  • Extensive knowledge and demonstrated ability applying nuclear or reactor physics concepts to the analysis of problems.
  • Knowledge of programming (C++, Python and/or Fortran or other relevant codes) with practical experience in using nuclear codes such as:
    • Particle Transport Codes – (e.g. MCNP, GEANT4, OpenMC, SERPENT)
    • Depletion/Activation codes – (e.g. FISPIN, FISPACT II, ORIGEN)
  • Professional membership / Chartered Physicist, Engineer or Scientist or actively working towards Chartership.
  • Ability to obtain DV level security clearance (this includes but is not limited to identity, employment, financial, criminal record checks, interview plus 10 years of UK residency).

Desirable Criteria for Nuclear Physicist:

  • Relevant PhD or post graduate MSc degree in nuclear physics or nuclear engineering or equivalent desirable. 
  • Some nuclear related experience of working internationally preferable.
  • Experience of technical development of scientists and engineers.
  • Experience of using UNIX / LINUX operating systems.
    • Knowledge and experience of Neutronics codes such as:
      Neutronics Codes –(e.g. SERPENT, CASMO/SIMULATE, WIMS, PANTHER, SCALE)
  • Experience of designing, developing and/or carrying out physical experiments to support nuclear projects.

About the Company

NNL is an incredible place to work A place where people do things that have never been done before A place where people push boundaries to further themselves, the business, and society as a whole.

This is a place where personal and professional opportunities are limitless. If you want to change the world, if you want to tackle climate change, if you want to help advance medical science, if you want to help put things in space, if you want to answer the big questions, if you want to work with extraordinary materials, if you want to meet great people, learn new skills, challenge yourself, work flexibly, and build a long successful career with the power to make a real impact… you can do it all here.

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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