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Criticality Scientist

Berkshire, West Berkshire
Closing date
4 Aug 2021
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Job Details

Criticality Scientist

Location - Reading / Basingstoke area

Join the UK's largest Criticality Group at AWE. We are currently looking to expand our team and seeking criticality scientists, with diverse skillsets, who are at all stages of their careers to join our dynamic team. We are proud to have such a friendly and supportive group to welcome individuals, at any stage of their career, to join our organisation, which offers excellent development opportunities for staff to progress.

The role:

Key aspects of the role will be to provide an in-house criticality safety assessment capability in support of delivering the company's strategic objectives. This involves the delivery of criticality safety assessments during the design, operation and decommissioning phases of nuclear facilities, and in support of nuclear safety documentation as part of the Site Licence Conditions.

What will you be required to do?
  • To deliver criticality safety assessments in line with the programme demand and the corporate management procedures to facilities, on time and in full
  • Provide criticality support and advice to our technology centres
  • Maintain and promote high personal standards in environment, safety, health, security and quality and be a great team player
  • Conduct hazard/fault identification studies, articulate qualitative and quantitative criticality safety assessments and participate in the safety implementation process
  • Liaise and establish strong working relationships with key stakeholders including technology centres, operational and project management, engineers and safety case teams
  • Support external activities as part of the Critical Safety Authority Outreach and Science Programme i.e. deliver presentations to external conferences/symposia
  • Directly Supporting Work with Nuclear Material and Safety Assessment Support in a nuclear baseline role

What will you need to be considered?

  • Honours Degree (or equivalent) in science, engineering or closely related discipline or equivalent level of experience

  • Understanding of nuclear physics, physics of criticality, chemistry and metallurgy of fissile material

  • A practitioner able to demonstrate good engineering and scientific judgement with extensive experience in using fundamental engineering and scientific skills

  • Knowledge of nuclear transport codes - Monte Carlo and deterministic methods e.g. MONK and MCNP

  • An understanding of both the requirements of fissile operations within a Nuclear Licensed Site and nuclear regulatory framework within the UK

  • Familiar with methodologies used in criticality safety and an overview of the different regulatory methods outside the UK

  • Able to articulate and communicate clearly and concisely technical programmes, problems and risks to internal and external stakeholders with non / technical backgrounds i.e. Office of Nuclear Regulation, Senior Leadership Team

You will be rewarded with the following:

AWE offer excellent benefits including; a competitive salary, market leading contributory pension scheme, generous holiday entitlement, excellent work/life balance including a 9-day working fortnight, flexible working hours, part-time and term-time contracts, competitive maternity/paternity packages and a salary sacrifice scheme, to name just a few.

AWE plays a crucial role in the defence of the United Kingdom, by providing and maintaining the warheads for the country's nuclear deterrent. We are a centre of scientific, engineering and technological excellence, with some of the most advanced research, design and production facilities in the world. Our unique expertise also assists the UK Government in developing and delivering a range of innovative and integrated support services, including national nuclear security and counter-terrorism solutions.

AWE is an equal opportunities employer. We value diversity and welcome applications from candidates from all backgrounds. We particularly welcome applications from sections of the community which are currently under-represented at AWE, including women, BAME and disabled people


AWE has responsibility for maintaining the UK’s nuclear deterrent and supporting national nuclear security from warhead safety and performance to providing support to users in the field. Our scientific and engineering expertise is second to none. As is our approach to predicting the performance of a system that can never be tested, but has to work. We’re looking to recruit specialist scientists to support our core programme. Our strength lies in our diversity. An extremely broad range of employees brings different skills and experiences to the team.

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