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Criticality Safety Assessor

Berkshire, UK
£31000 - £46000 per annum
Posting live until
14 Jun 2024

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Job Details


Join AWE in the UK's largest Criticality Safety Group to support safe nuclear operations in defence of the nation and develop your nuclear career!

We are currently looking to expand our Criticality Safety Group and are seeking proactive, talented people who want to work in the field of nuclear criticality science and safety. We welcome applications to join our dynamic team as Criticality Safety Assessors from people with diverse skillsets and backgrounds and who are at any stage of their career.

Our goal is to grow our internationally recognised, highly capable, friendly, and supportive group to meet the increasing demands of a challenging programme of work in support of the UK's nuclear deterrent.

Location: Aldermaston, West Berkshire. We are located between Reading and Basingstoke.

Although flexible working is available, due to the classified nature of this role, it is anticipated that the successful candidate will spend the vast majority of their time working on site at AWE Aldermaston, once obtaining the appropriate clearance.

Salary Packages:

Junior Criticality Safety Assessor (recent university graduates or relevant nuclear safety/operations experience)

£31,000 - £35,000 plus role related allowance(s) (depending on your suitability, qualifications, and level of experience)

Experienced Criticality Safety Assessor (recent PhD graduate, or university graduates with some relevant experience or significant relevant nuclear safety/operations experience)

£38,000 - £46,000 plus role related allowance(s) (depending on your suitability, qualifications and level of experience)

Closing Date: 14th June 2024

The Criticality Safety Assessor Role:

As AWE's Criticality Safety Group, our role is 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, which form a part of our nuclear safety documentation that satisfies our Nuclear Site Licence Conditions.

The Criticality Safety Assessor role is multidisciplinary and involves the combination of a strong technical understanding of the nuclear physics of criticality with a working knowledge of writing safety assessments, as well as familiarity of, and interaction with, many other professional disciplines.

Nuclear physics knowledge is applied to derive safe working limits and restrictions for a wide variety of operations that use fissile material across the nuclear material and facility lifecycles. These derivations regularly involve the use of nuclear data from real world experiments and often Monte Carlo computer codes to simulate k-effective. The production of safety assessments requires an understanding of Hazard Identification methods and various fault analysis techniques to determine how a criticality could occur and what safety systems are required for that risk.

Training and development is provided to learn the skills required to become a competent Criticality Safety Assessor. This involves a mixture of training exercises and on-the-job training as well as visits to nuclear facilities on site.

There are also many additional opportunities for staff to diversify their work including:

  • Learning nuclear criticality safety training material and delivering safety training courses to workers on site;
  • Undertaking facility inspections to appraise operational performance against criticality safety good practice;
  • Regular knowledge transfer activities and continuous professional development opportunities;
  • Additional opportunities to specialise the role.

What will you be required to do?

  • Deliver criticality safety assessments to facilities in line with the programme demand and our internal company procedures;
  • Provide criticality safety 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 case implementation process;
  • Liaise and establish strong working relationships with key stakeholders including technology centres, operations, project management, engineers, and conventional safety case teams;
  • Support external activities e.g. deliver presentations to external conferences/symposia and collaborate across the nuclear industry;
  • Directly support work with nuclear material and safety assessment support in a nuclear baseline role which is key to nuclear safety.

Whilst not to be considered a check list, candidates should be able to demonstrate some of the following:

  • Honours Degree (or equivalent) in science, engineering or closely related discipline or equivalent level of experience;
  • An understanding of relevant technical topics which include: nuclear physics, physics of criticality, mathematics, statistics, chemistry and metallurgy of fissile material;
  • Experience of demonstrating good engineering and scientific judgement with extensive experience in using fundamental engineering and scientific skills;
  • Knowledge of particle transport codes - Monte Carlo and deterministic methods e.g. MONK and MCNP;
  • An understanding of the requirements placed upon fissile operations within a highly regulated industry on a nuclear licensed site ;
  • An understanding of the nuclear regulatory framework within the UK and/or an overview of the different regulatory methods outside the UK;
  • Familiarity with assessment and analysis methodologies used in the field of criticality safety;
  • The ability to communicate clearly and concisely technical problems and risks to internal and external stakeholders with non / technical backgrounds.

What will you get from us?

As part of our People Promise, AWE (one of the best 25 big companies to work for in the UK) has a range of benefits to suit you. These include:

  • Time to recharge your batteries with 270 hours of annual leave (including Bank Holidays);
  • 9-day working fortnight - our employees have every other Friday off work;
  • Flexible working hours;
  • Consideration for flexible working arrangements so that your work may fit in with your lifestyle. Just let us know on your application if you wish to work part time;
  • Family friendly policies: Maternity Leave - 39 Weeks Full Pay and Paternity Leave - 4 Weeks Full Pay;
  • Opportunities for Professional Career Development that include funding for the annual membership of a relevant professional body, access to mentors and training;
  • Employee Assistance Programme and Occupational Health Services;
  • A market leading contributory pension scheme (we will pay between 9% and 13% of your pensionable pay depending on your own contribution);
  • Life Assurance;
  • Discounts - access to savings on a wide range of everyday spending savings;
  • Special Leave Policy including paid time off for volunteering, public service (including reserve forces) and caring for your family;
  • A host of voluntary & core benefits to suit your health and wellbeing - more information available on our careers site.

Important things you need to know:

  • You must be a UK national who has been resident in the UK for the past 10 years;
  • Interviews will be 90 minutes in length and will be held over Microsoft Teams. You will be required to prepare a 10-minute presentation in advance;
  • Candidates must be willing and able to obtain and maintain the necessary security clearance for the role. This will be funded by AWE.


* Agencies: Please note that we do not out-source our recruitment


AWE profile image

AWE plays a crucial role in national nuclear security. Working to support the defence of our country, we’re a community of creative thinkers from all kinds of backgrounds in all kinds of roles, with one clear mission – to keep everyone, our environment and everything around us safe and secure. Our role in nuclear defence and the specialist expertise we provide to the government, is vital in the defence against the most serious threats faced by the UK – and to keeping the peace. From developing the warheads for the nuclear deterrent, to providing counter-terrorism and nuclear threat reduction solutions, the work we do is of global importance.

Why work for us
What we do is unique and so are the people who work here. We are a team of around 6500 people – proud to be part of such an important mission. We are com​mitted to equality at work and to mainstreaming diversity and inclusion in everything we do. We believe that by bringing together a diverse range of people we’ll get the diversity of thought to approach challenges in new ways.

Training and development
We believe in supporting our people through long-term investment in learning and development. Alongside in-house and on-line training capabilities, we support membership of professional bodies. We also focus on building and developing leadership skills, in pursuit of our best-in-class ambition. We do this through tailored leadership development programmes, accredited by the Chartered Management Institute, designed to equip our leaders with the skills to drive performance and bring out the best in their teams.

Graduate schemes
Our two-year Evolve programme offers four career pathways: Science, Engineering, Environment, Safety, Health & Quality and Corporate & Operations. The programme is designed to be flexible, to incorporate a range of experiences as well as business needs. You’ll undertake several placements to expand your knowledge of your discipline, enabling you to develop yourself and your ongoing career. Your line manager will work with you and support you on your journey.

What we are looking for
We are always looking for high-calibre people to join our team. Whatever stage of your career, AWE is an exciting and challenging environment to develop your skills and achieve your potential. Our ambition is to create workplaces where we recognize and celebrate differences, encourage diverse contributions and our employees feel able to be themselves at work. We strive to create a genuine culture of openness and inclusion and encourage diverse applicants. Please note that you must be a British national to apply for a role at AWE.

Reading, UK

Number of employees

Main areas of research
Nuclear defence, nuclear forensics, radiation detection, plasma physics, hydrodynamics, high-performance computing, materials science

Positions recently recruited for
Computational physics, criticality scientists, experimental physics, radiation science, high-performance computing, radiation detection

Must be a British national and have resided in the UK for 10 years for our science and engineering roles 

How to apply
Please visit our website for further information

Tel +44 (0)118 981 4111

Company info
+44 0118 98 24643
AWE Aldermaston

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