Vitrification Test Rig (VTR) Operations Team Leader


The job has expired.

Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Permanent - Full Time
Salary starting at £42,073
Working Hours:
39 Hours
Sellafield, Cumbria
Closing Date:
Business Area:
Waste Management and Decommissioning
Post / Zip Code:
CA20 1PG

Job Introduction

Job Description for Vitrification Test Rig (VTR) Operations Team Leader:

NNL is where you’ll experiment to help solve global challenges. As part of our Waste Management & Decommissioning capability, your work will impact the lives of generations. By finding new ways to avoid, reduce, store and treat nuclear waste, and drive down the cost of decommissioning, you’ll help to deliver cleaner energy and influence our nation’s energy future. You’ll face new challenges every day, working in unique locations on ground-breaking projects. Whichever area you specialise in this is a place to do great science for a good cause.

An opportunity for an Operations Team Leader exists within the Waste Processing Services (WPS) business area Vitrification Team.   The team is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the Vitrification Test Rig (VTR) and development work in support of Sellafield Ltd.’s waste treatment missions.  The team operates in non-active chemical plant and laboratory environments and work includes maintenance of the test rig and associated systems, delivery of full-scale experimental programme operations carried out as shift work and supporting analytical and research project work. 

Primarily, you will be working within the Operations Team responsible for the routine care and maintenance of the plant engineered systems and ad-hoc project work. Your role will include operation of the plant to the requirements set out by the Technical teams including supervision of both craft and operations personnel. You will report to, and directly support, the Operations Manager and Manufacturing Team Leaders in the delivery of the maintenance and operations programmes and this will routinely include the planning, supervision and delivery of tasks controlled through Safe Systems. You may be responsible for the direct supervision of Process Operators during shift and day work and may also be responsible for junior members of the team, for example, Graduate and Scientific Apprentices. To facilitate work it will be necessary for you to interact with other departments, for example Compliance and the OCM Teams, on a regular basis.

It’s an exciting time to join the team as we embark on a new programme of work to support thermal treatment of solid wastes technology development and therefore, some working across projects within the WPS business area may be necessary.  This may include other test rig operation and/or laboratory work. Although training will be given, existing laboratory and active area experience/qualifications would be advantageous.

The WPS business area provides a wide variety of waste treatment technology services to Sellafield Ltd. and other customers across the nuclear landscape. The OTL role may present potential candidates with a unique opportunity to gain real plant, laboratory, technical and project experience with the ability to broaden their own experience within key nuclear technology areas. The nature of the work provides an ideal opportunity to underpin chartership of appropriate professional institutions.

Main Responsibilities

Main Responsibilities for Vitrification Test Rig (VTR) Operations Team Leader:

  • Preparation, updating and validation of instructions and key safety documentation used in both plant and laboratory environments.
  • Planning of maintenance and operational activities. 
  • Preparation of Safe Systems of Work packages and Work Requests to support operations, maintenance and ad-hoc project activities. 
  • Operation of the Vitrification Test Rig to the specification in test schedules; monitoring rig performance and key operating parameters.
  • Act as Originator, Task Supervisor and Sub-Contract Supervisor for assigned tasks.
  • Deployment and supervision of operators and craft personnel on plant in support of operational and maintenance activities.
  • Support to technical teams producing experimental proposals and test schedules.
  • Liaising with relevant services to facilitate rig maintenance (NNL Compliance Team Leaders, Riggers, Scaffolders, etc.).
  • Training and development of operators and technicians, ensuring training records and SQEP status are maintained.
  • Management and monitoring of Wastes, disposals, storage of reagent materials, consumables, process samples and good housekeeping standards.
  • Take on additional roles as required and as part of development, for example Plant Owner, Authorised Person etc.

The Ideal Candidate

Essential Criteria for Vitrification Test Rig (VTR) Operations Team Leader:

  • HNC in Engineering, Scientific or Process Plant Control discipline (suitable experience considered in lieu of formal qualifications).
  • Qualifications and/or experience of supervising others in plant environments.
  • Good knowledge and experience of management of safety in operational environments.
  • Experience in planning and delivering tasks to safety, quality, time and cost.
  • High initiative with the ability to plan and deliver assigned tasks.
  • Organiser and Task Supervisor Key Safety Appointment holder or proven ability to attain those roles.
  • Ability to develop towards the role of Manufacturing Team Leader to act as deputy for future operations.
  • Ability to obtain SC level security clearance (this includes but is not limited to identity, employment, financial and criminal record checks plus 5 years’ worth of UK residency).

Desirable Criteria for Vitrification Test Rig (VTR) Operations Team Leader:

Good understanding of thermal treatment technologies.

  • Trained and experienced to work in active area environments or ability to develop such skills. 
  • Demonstrable customer focus with good written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proven ability to interact with own team and other departments and at higher levels.
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience of plant control systems such as operational (DCS) and trending software.
  • Good computer/software package / IT skills.

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.