National Nuclear Laboratory

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State-owned limited company
Industry Nuclear services and technology
Predecessor Nexia Solutions
Founded 23 July 2008
Headquarters Central Laboratory, Sellafield, Cumbria, United Kingdom
Number of locations
Central Laboratory
Windscale Laboratory
Workington Laboratory
Preston Laboratory
Chadwick House
Culham Centre for Fusion Energy
Stonehouse
Key people
Prof. Paul Howarth (managing director)
Owner Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Number of employees
approx 800
Divisions Waste Management and Decommissioning, Fuel Cycle Solutions and Reactor Operations Support
Website nnl.co.uk

The National Nuclear Laboratory (informally NNL, formerly Nexia Solutions) is a UK government owned and operated nuclear services technology provider covering the whole of the nuclear fuel cycle. It is fully customer-funded and operates at six locations in the United Kingdom. Its customers have included the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Sellafield Ltd, Westinghouse, the Health and Safety Executive, the Ministry of Defence, the UK Atomic Energy Authority, VT Nuclear and British Energy. It also has extensive links with academia, including collaborative agreements on waste immobilisation and disposal with the University of Sheffield and on nuclear materials research with the University of Manchester.[1]

History[edit]

The organisation began to come together in 1996 when a number of separate research and development facilities began to coalesce into a single unit within British Nuclear Fuels. In 2003, this Research and Technology business was re-launched as Nuclear Sciences and Technology Services (NSTS) to ready the business for transformation into a fully commercial entity. In 2005, following the restructuring of the wider nuclear industry, Nexia Solutions was formed out of NSTS, as a wholly owned subsidiary of BNFL.

In July 2006, the UK Government stated its intention to preserve and develop key R&D capabilities potentially as part of a National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). In October 2006, Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Alistair Darling announced the establishment of the NNL, to be based on Nexia Solutions and the British Technology Centre at Sellafield.[2] The NNL was formally announced by John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in an announcement at the Sellafield Visitors Centre on 23 July 2008.[3]

On 23 March 2009 it was announced by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) that a consortium made up of Serco, Battelle and the University of Manchester had been selected as the new management contractors for the NNL.[4] The contract was for an initial three-year period with options to be extended by up to two years.[5] DECC had been engaged in competitive dialogue with the winning consortium as well as QQEST, a joint venture between QinetiQ and EnergySolutions, since October 2008.[6]

The management contract commenced on 1 April 2009, when ownership of the NNL transferred from BNFL directly to DECC with shareholder responsibilities delegated to the Shareholder Executive. From day one of the new contract, the focus was on positioning the NNL as the employer of choice for nuclear scientists and engineers, and working in partnership with customers to deliver valuable solutions to the challenges faced by the national and international nuclear market.[7] Mike Lawrence of Battelle was appointed to lead the new NNL management team as managing director. He had more than 40 years of experience in the nuclear profession, including management of the United States Hanford Reservation and its massive site clean-up program, and his former role as the US representative on nuclear matters to the International Atomic Energy Agency.[8] Mike Lawrence retired in December 2010 and was replaced by Professor Paul Howarth, formerly NNL's Director of Science, Technology and Project Delivery.[9] On 1 October 2013 the management contract expired, and the NNL became operated directly by the UK Government.[10]

Other information[edit]

  • The NNL (as Nexia Solutions) won RoSPA's prestigious Sector Award five times between 2004 and 2008.
  • The NNL also won the IChemE HFL Excellence in Health and Safety' Award in 2008.
  • The NNL is also responsible for the development of the Radball technology.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]