Graduate Opportunity

nucleargraduates 2022 - Operations Performance Improvement

West Cumbria. Multiple vacancies. Open to all STEM.

Save to shortlist Saved to shortlist Apply now

nucleargraduates is on a mission to create a diverse pipeline of future talent for the nuclear industry.

The nucleargraduates Experience

A video demonstrating the key values and benefits that the company offers.

Whether your passion lies within science, engineering or business, the nucleargraduates programme will ensure that during your two years with us, you will gain an invaluable insight into the nuclear sector, taking on challenges and having the opportunity to make a real difference. 

The sponsoring organisation for this opportunity is the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). Upon completion of the two year programme you will take up a substantive role within the NDA group.

The Sponsoring Organisations

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) is a non-departmental public body created through the Energy Act 2004. We employ just over 200 staff and have offices in Cumbria, Caithness, Cheshire, London and Oxfordshire. We own 17 sites across England, Wales and Scotland, some dating back to the 1940s, plus the associated liabilities and assets. We report to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS); for some aspects of our work in Scotland, we are responsible to Scottish ministers. Our role is strategic: we establish the overall approach, allocate budgets, set targets and monitor progress. We do not have a hands-on role in cleaning up our facilities. Instead, we deliver our mission through others, primarily 12 businesses.

The mission of the NDA group is “To clean up the UK’s earliest nuclear sites safely, securely and cost effectively with care for people and the environment”

We are responsible for:

  • decommissioning and cleaning up these nuclear facilities
  • ensuring that all waste products, both radioactive and non-radioactive, are safely managed
  • implementing policy on the long-term management of nuclear waste
  • developing UK-wide strategy and plans for nuclear Low Level Waste (LLW)
  • scrutinising the decommissioning plans of EDF Energy, who own the operating fleet of Advanced Gas Cooled Reactor (AGR) nuclear power stations

We know that great leadership is key to creating the right environment so our people can perform at their best to deliver our mission.

Our Leadership Standard comprises four lenses of leadership:

  • Create the future
  • Safely deliver results
  • Inspire our people
  • Collaborate to unlock potential

All leaders need to divide their time between delivering priorities and results today, whilst also focusing on future direction with the requisite people and teams in place.

Our leaders are able to lead with the best of themselves. They are self-aware, pay attention to the impact they have on others, and recognise their own development needs. They honour their own well-being to maintain their energy and effectiveness in our challenging environment.

The NDA values the unique differences that each of our colleagues bring to work every day and are committed to creating an environment where everyone feels respected, included and able to perform at their best. We are committed to creating a workplace that is diverse and inclusive.

The Role of an Operations Performance and Improvement (OPI) Graduate

As a team we are involved in transforming delivery of our mission through Research, Development and Innovation. This includes ensuring we know what our challenges are and the potential solutions we and others can develop. Technical assurance, or mapping our challenges and understanding that the solutions will work when they are deployed, is an essential part of our work. Sharing our progress in accessible ways is also important.

Placement would involve:

  • Technical baselines and technical assurance: scope and deliver a new accessible NDA technical roadmap approach and baseline report (provides an overview of the technology challenges across the site), engaging with stakeholders and accessing good practices
  • Using the data sets we have on decommissioning technology challenges to shape the priorities for our innovation portfolio and then support measuring the benefits achieved
  • Opportunity to scope, compete and manage R&D work via our strategic portfolio and work with our communications team on sharing our progress

The Programme

nucleargraduates is a vibrant, industry led graduate development programme featuring:

  • Opportunities to collaborate with leading experts across a diverse industry on projects that have real impact
  • Three secondments across the nuclear sector (with the possibility of an international secondment) providing opportunities to explore a range of careers across the industry
  • Technical knowledge and professional development opportunities structured against the requirements of the relevant institutes or professional bodies
  • A corporate social responsibility programme which will include sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm with the next generation of industry professionals
  • Behavioural skills development opportunities

Minimum Eligibility Requirement  

  • A minimum of a 2:2 in any STEM subject, achieved within the last 5 years
  • Have the full right to work in the UK (please note we are unable to sponsor visas or accept those with a Graduate visa as candidates will be unable complete the full duration of the programme)

Candidate Profile  

The nucleargraduates programme gives you:

  • A dedicated team of experts to support your development and progress throughout your programme
  • A sponsor company lead to provide you with day-to-day support during your programmes and with your secondments
  • Access to the alumni graduate community enabling you to learn from other experiences and community of practice. A dedicated mentor, assigned to you upon starting the programme who will stay with you throughout your nucleargraduates journey
  • Opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills
  • Allocated budgets to assist you with training, resources, and conferences as well as travel & subsistence
  • A competitive graduate starting salary
  • 25 days annual leave, plus bank holidays
  • 6 discretionary days leave for study and relocation
  • Contributory pension scheme
  • Wellbeing and support services

And in return you will give the nucleargraduates programme:

  • Your enthusiasm, knowledge and skills to inspire the generation and contribute to the future of our industry
  • Creativity and collaboration
  • Drive and determination
  • Flexibility
  • Willingness to get involved and try new things
  • Resilience – we don’t expect you to be an expert from day one
  • Integrity, being impartial, ethical and safe in everything you do
  • Positivity and commitment to the mission, purpose and values of the nuclear sector
  • Respect for others
  • Efficiency

We've signed the Gradcracker feedback pledge.

(This means that we will supply feedback if requested after an interview.)


Apply online now
This button will open a new tab and take you directly to the employer's website to apply.
Please remember, if asked, that you found this job on Gradcracker.
Save to shortlist Saved to shortlist

Opportunity Overview

  • Ongoing
  • Multiple vacancies
  • Competitive + benefits
  • 2:2 and above
  • West Cumbria
    (Show map)

Disciplines accepted...

  • All STEM disciplines

More on our Hub

Employee Profiles

View more »

Watch our videos

Watch more of our videos »


Follow your favourite employers
Save jobs to your shortlist
Receive personalised alerts
Access our live webinars
Register now