Scientist - Irradiated Fuel Characterisation

The job has expired.

Job Reference: NNL/TP/27125/1064
Number of Positions: 2
Contract Type: Permanent - Full Time
Salary: Starting from £37,064
Working Hours: 39
Closing Date: 04/05/2021
Business Area: Fuel, Reactor and Reprocessing
Location: Sellafield, Cumbria

Job Introduction

The roles sit within the irradiated fuel characterisation team which comprises technical experts and specialists responsible for leading and developing the Post Irradiation and Post-Storage Examination of nuclear fuel (PIE/PSE). This area has a growing workload associated with current programmes (eg supporting the fleet of AGR reactors in the UK), 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 after discharge from reactors, both of which are crucial to sustainable nuclear power generation.

The role supports this area by collecting data on irradiated fuel characteristics and irradiated fuel testing and undertaking analysis of PIE data. The role 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 UK AGR stations for in-pond examinations, including periods of 1-2 weeks of on-site working at these locations around the UK.

The role holder will operate experimental rigs for characterisation and testing of irradiated fuel. They also will undertake analysis of data collected from Hotcell and in-pond examination and testing in order to provide reports of findings and advising internal and external stakeholders. The role encompasses work to understand in-reactor performance and post discharge fuel behaviour, including during storage, transport and disposal.

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

The role holder will be provided with training and development towards a position as a specialist expert in the PIE field, working alongside recognised industry experts.

Main Responsibilities

The main responsibilities for the Scientist - Irradiated Fuel Characterisation will be:

  • Technical delivery of tasks in order to ensure that standards of safety, cost, quality, scientific merit and time are met.
  • Directly undertake experimental and data-recording tasks – including the possibility of regular on-site fuel inspection operations at AGR stations around the UK.
  • Engage with internal stakeholders to develop experimental approaches, techniques and equipment to address knowledge gaps associated with spent fuel and fuel 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 spent.
    • Apply existing knowledge and expertise to new areas of business. 
    • Maintain accurate records in accordance with laid down procedures.
  • Contribute to the improvement of working practices and environment particularly in their own area of responsibility.


The Ideal Candidate

Essential skills for the Scientist - Irradiated Fuel Characterisation:

  • Degree in science-based discipline with experience in an industrial technical environment or a PhD.
  • 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/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.

Desirable skills for the Scientist - Irradiated Fuel Characterisation:

  • 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.