Going nuclear?

Nuclear power is firmly back on the map as the UK charts a course towards a secure, low carbon future energy supply. The government’s new build strategy has identified eight sites for possible development, and the nuclear supply chain is gearing up to fulfil a programme that could create up to 30,000 new jobs, according to research by Cogent Sector Skills Council.

The UK is also home to world-class facilities and expertise in cutting edge fields such as nuclear fusion technology, which has significant longer term potential.

CCFE is looking for people with a wide range of engineering skills to help it build its capability in the key fusion technologies needed for a power plant. While prior fusion experience is not essential, CCFE said a proven track record of working with complex mechanical, electrical and electronic systems and assemblies would be an advantage.

People joining the Oxfordshire facility are likely, for example, to find themselves working on the Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak (MAST) experiment, the centerpiece of the UK’s fusion programme.

CCFE has started a major machine upgrade for MAST that will be key to helping the development of future machines, not least the ground-breaking international ITER experiment, which aims to construct the largest ever magnetic confinement fusion device and test technologies at reactor scale for the first time.

CCFE is playing a major role in Europe’s contribution to ITER, supporting the development of detailed designs for the additional plasma heating systems, remote maintenance and others.

CCFE also operates the Joint European Torus, the world’s largest fusion facility, allowing Culham to claim fusion engineering capabilities that are second to none.

Employees will benefit from extensive training and career development programmes that recognise the status of people as its greatest asset, said CCFE. These include accredited apprentice and graduate training schemes that help younger staff members to develop into senior roles. The employee benefits package includes a final salary pension.