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"Aside from the secondments there are also a lot of opportunities to visit sites and other organisations in the UK and abroad to get a much broader understanding of nuclear."
Studied: MChem, BSC Chemistry with Analytical Chemistry (Industrial) at University of Leeds
Current Job Title, secondment host and duration: Environment Officer, EDF Energy, 6 months
Previous Roles, Secondment Hosts and Durations: Project Chemist, Magnox Ltd (Bradwell site) 8 months, Packaging Assessment Manager, Radioactive Waste Management, 8 months
Sponsor Company: Magnox Ltd
My current role is an Environment Officer as part of the Generation Environment Management Team at EDF Energy. The team provides environmental support to all of EDF Energy’s operational UK power stations, including their nuclear fleet. My work involves reviewing the operational radioactive waste management strategies for each of the nuclear power stations in the fleet to allow me to build a tool that will combine all of the fleet information in order to understand where priorities lie at a station and fleet level.
The nuclear industry offers a much greater diversity in roles and career options that lots of other sectors, and nucleargraduates reflects exactly that. The scheme offers a great way to experience a range of roles within the nuclear sector which is exactly what I wanted on leaving university. Aside from the secondments there are also a lot of opportunities to visit sites and other organisations in the UK and abroad to get a much broader understanding of nuclear. The industry is keen to welcome new talent and the chance to explore different roles within different companies over these two years was a huge driver to apply. The industry itself has a number of challenges to overcome, enough to keep you occupied for an entire career!
The standout moment for me was visiting the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory in Sweden. This is Sweden’s geological disposal research facility where experiments are being carried out related to the disposal of radioactive waste from their nuclear programme. This was a particularly interesting visit for me as I had just spent 8 months on secondment with Radioactive Waste Management Ltd who are the UK equivalent to SKB who operate the Swedish facility. Traveling 500m below the surface to see the huge tunnels that have been built to host a range of experiments provided a real insight into the extent of the work involved in developing a geological disposal facility. It was really useful to consider how that would translate to the UK’s programme for developing a geological repository.
My plans for the immediate future are to return to Magnox (my sponsoring organisation) at the end of the graduate programme on one of their twelve sites. I am hoping to work in Higher Activity Waste management; using some of the experience I gained working at Radioactive Waste Management to help manage the disposability of Higher Activity Wastes. I am also hoping to gain chartership during the next two years. Beyond that I would like to work internationally for a year or two, gaining experience of waste management in another country. In the longer term I am hoping to progress my career within technical roles for as long as possible, moving into project managing technical projects.