Spent Fuel Specialist

The job has expired.

Job Reference: NNL/TP/11402/591
Number of Positions: 1
Contract Type: Permanent - Full Time
Salary: £35,175
Working Hours: 39 hours per week
Closing Date: 31/01/2020
Job Category: Fuel, Reactor and Reprocessing
Business Unit: Fuel, Reactor and Reprocessing
Location: Sellafield, Cumbria

Job Introduction

NNL is looking for a high calibre, motivated and experienced individual to support laboratory’s work on the management of irradiated fuel between discharge from reactor to disposal in a geological repository. The role sits within the NNL’s Post Irradiation Evaluation (PIE) team part of the Fuels, Reactors and Reprocessing capability based in West Cumbria.

The role will require undertaking a range of activities related to understanding the behaviour of irradiated fuel and providing advice on the future management and disposal of irradiated fuel from nuclear reactors. Current work is centred on the management of AGR fuel in long term pond storage but includes supporting work on fuel drying, dry storage and disposal, but extends to the management of uranic fuels, legacy and exotic fuels and water-reactor fuels.  The team is also supporting NNL’s activities on development of advanced fuels and advanced/modular reactor systems and undertakes work supporting strategic assessments of the UK fuel cycle. The team actively participates in international activities, including Horizon 2020 projects, IAEA co-ordinated research programmes and spent fuel storage and disposal technical meetings.

Activities will include desk-based assessments, equipment development and practical examination/testing work in both non-radioactive laboratories and in shielded R&D facilities. As part of the role you will be expected to interface with a wide range of people in other NNL teams, customer organisations and UK universities. You may have opportunities to/be required to work in other related areas within NNL, such as fuel PIE and materials/corrosion teams to broaden expertise and apply relevant knowledge to fuel management. Travel to customer or supplier sites may be required. Opportunities for wider engagement in international research will become available to candidates that demonstrate appropriate mastery of relevant topic areas.

Main Responsibilities


  • Carry out designated work packages to meet standards of safety, cost, quality and time.
  • Provision of specified technical assessments to customers agreed standards and timescales.
  • Development of experimental approaches, techniques and equipment to address knowledge gaps associated with irradiated fuel behaviour is storage and disposal.
  • Provide advice and guidance on technical issues in their own working area.
  • Identify new opportunities for innovation, technology development and/or customer service in his/her own area of work.
  • Apply existing knowledge and expertise to new/evolving fuels and reactor systems.
  • Maintain accurate records in accordance with laid down procedures.
  • Record all test results, calculations and observations and check their validity.
  • Where appropriate, assist in the training and development of others to appropriate standards.
  • To contribute to the improvement of working practices and environment particularly in their own area of responsibility.
  • Comply with all legislative, regulatory and company policy standards and procedures e.g. safety, quality, risk, security etc. applicable to the role.

The Ideal Candidate

Essential Skills/Qualifications

  • A degree in materials science, physical science or engineering or an HND with minimum of 1 years experience in a laboratory environment.
  • Enhanced security clearance (at least SC) or a willingness to undertake further security clearance.
  • A proven aptitude for problem solving.
  • Good communication and team working skills.
  • The ability to work with minimum supervision.
  • Positive attitude to learning and supporting the wider development of the team

Desirable Skills/Qualifications

  • Knowledge and/or practical experience relating to material corrosion, particularly relating to stainless steels, actinide oxides and/or uranium metal.
  • Experience of handling nuclear and radioactive materials.

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