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Post Doctorate Scheme 2024 - Reactor Chemistry Modeller

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. 

NNL is looking for an individual to join the Reactor Chemistry and Corrosion team based in Culham, Oxfordshire.  The team deliver commercial Research & Development to help solve a wide range of chemistry and corrosion-based challenges in the nuclear industry and has a long history of successful delivery of work programmes to an exceptional standard. 
You will support strategic programmes across the industry, as well as provide advice on strategic UK issues. Much of the work directly supports plant operation, lifetime extension and support to new build programmes. 

To join the NNL Post Doctorate programme you will have a PhD in Chemistry and experience in the modelling of physical and/or chemical systems with an understanding of applied mathematics.

You will have the right to work in the UK and be able to achieve BPSS level security clearance (this includes but is not limited to identity, employment, financial and criminal record checks). This role has a nationality requirement due to US export control restrictions.  If your nationality does not meet the criteria unfortunately, your application will not be taken any further. 

Role Responsibility

You will be involved in investigating, analysing and resolving a range of technical questions relating to operational reactors (worldwide) and the UK’s new build programme including SMR and AMR technologies.

You will have the opportunity to work and interface with national and international organisations.

In this role you will develop reactor chemistry models using commercial software and bespoke coding. You will implement chemical and physical processes covering topic areas such as water and gas chemistry, radiation chemistry, as well as activity and corrosion product transport based on state-of-the-art understanding of these systems. You will also advance the frontiers of nuclear science through NNL’s ambitious Science and Technology programme and develop your publication track record and become one of the future international experts in your field.

Your responsibilities will include: 

  • Working flexibly as part of a specialist team using and developing reactor chemistry models and tools to support operational reactors, as well as those going through the design process
  • Delivering internal and external customer projects to time, in budget, and to required environmental, health, safety, security and quality (EHSS&Q) standards
  • Performing modelling work in support of customer work, making use of codes and models within, and external to NNL
  • The authorship, review and approval of technical documents (calculations notes/spreadsheets, technical memos, technical reports, presentations and open literature journal articles)
  • Presenting work performed to customers, project meetings and at national/international conferences
  • Ad-hoc problem solving to resolve day to day technical challenges that emerge
  • Engaging with technical experts across NNL, looking to support their work and vice-versa
  • Mentoring and supporting junior colleagues in their professional/technical development

NNL recognises that academia and industry are very different environments, our Postdoctoral Development Scheme will smooth the transition whilst supporting you as you take your first steps towards becoming a Subject Matter Expert.

Your two-year scheme will provide the opportunity to develop your technical knowledge and skills whilst providing you with an insight into NNL’s strategy and direction. You will receive an overview of how the company operates and delivers its projects. 

You will undertake personal development through training aligned to your personal development plan and understand your strengths, weaknesses, and behaviours. You will receive a personal budget to support your development within your field of expertise. 

From day one you’ll have a role in a technical team involved in delivering real customer projects. You will have direct sight of the value that your skills and knowledge have to our industry and by extension our society. The Postdoctoral Development Scheme runs alongside your role, providing you the space and skills to develop in a commercial environment whilst helping you decide how to advance your technical expertise.

Our two-year programme is designed to give you:

  • An introduction to NNL so you understand where we sit in the wider context of the nuclear industry and how we work
  • An introduction to the technical expertise at the core of our business so you understand how your expertise interrelates with our wider technical portfolio
  • A clear pathway of technical development
  • Commercial awareness of the Business Operations of NNL
  • Opportunity to network with mid-career professionals and experts
  • Mentoring to achieve chartered status with your chosen professional body
  • A choice of development activities tailored to you and your career aspirations
  • Membership of a cohort of early career professionals to provide support in developing within the company
  • The support of a dedicated early careers team and our strong, thriving early careers community.

As part of the selection process for the Post Doctorate programme you will complete a Technical Interview against the skills and competencies required for this role. 

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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