Nuclear Fuel Performance Engineer

EDF Energy
Contract type
Barnwood (Gloucester)
Closing date
26 May 2022
Competitive + Benefits

The Opportunity

We are currently looking to recruit an engineer to join the EDF Nuclear Fuel Performance Team at our Gloucester site. This is a valuable and technically stimulating opportunity to work within our Technical Client Organisation (TCO) to support the Hinkley Point C (HPC) project which is a vital part of the UK’s future energy strategy. As the first of the UK’s next generation of nuclear power stations, HPC is both of high profile and high complexity.

The TCO provides excellence in water and gas reactors and licensing skills while developing and managing high level skills to provide the most effective safety related solutions for any reactor technology.

The Nuclear Fuel Performance Engineer’s role will be to assure nuclear safety, by understanding and assessing the thermo-mechanical behaviour of nuclear fuel, which comprises uranium dioxide fuel pellets surrounded by a metallic cladding. As a Nuclear Fuel Performance Engineer, you will support safe and reliable operation of the nuclear fuel while it is in the reactor core or ex-reactor facilities. This will be achieved through safety analysis and issuing of operational advice concerning the performance of the nuclear fuel. 

A Nuclear Fuel Performance Engineer requires a good understanding of the fundamental properties and behaviours of ceramic and metallic materials, including atomic behaviour, crystallographic structures, microstructural features, phase changes, gas diffusion, stress/strain and creep, as well as how these are influenced by irradiation.  It is an intellectually stimulating role, under-pinned by sound scientific knowledge but also requires sound judgement.  As this is a specialist area, you will undergo training as part of an accredited training process.

The Role

As a Nuclear Fuel Performance Engineer, your day to day duties will include, but are not limited to:

  • Performing AGR and PWR Fuel Performance assessments. This will include substantial data analysis, statistical interpretation and graphical presentation.
  • Maintaining, developing and validating the AGR and PWR Fuel Performance assessment methodologies and modelling codes.
  • Advising operating AGR and PWR power stations on the appropriate operational envelope for the fuel to ensure nuclear safety.
  • Providing authoritative advice and judgement on the performance of AGR and PWR nuclear fuel in both normal and abnormal situations.

The Skills

You will be characterised by the following knowledge, qualifications and experience:


  • Academic qualifications in Materials Science at degree level or above.
  • Alternatively, academic qualifications to the same level in a relevant technical discipline (i.e. Applied Physics, Engineering, Chemistry) in addition to demonstrable knowledge or relevant experience in materials behaviour.
  • Practical experience of processing, analysing and presenting large data sets.
  • Practical experience with the UNIX/LINUX operating system environment, specifically experience of PERL scripting or an aptitude and willingness to learn and then use these tools.
  • Self-motivated and able to work constructively as part of a wider team to anticipate, define and then solve complex technical problems even when these are outside of prior experience.
  • Technically astute when encountering new/novel/detailed technical concepts while also going further to ask ‘why,’ ‘what if,’ or ‘how’, challenging results, data, and peers.
  • Ability to author clear and concise technical reports, drawing conclusions and recommendations from the work therein.
  • Ability to interact comfortably with regulators, senior stakeholders and customers to present complex technical information in a way that can be understood by the lay-person.
  • Interpersonal and negotiation / influencing skills.


  • Relevant, prior experience, either in academia or in industry will be a distinct advantage, but thorough training will be provided under a well established training and development programme. Experience of interest would include but not be limited to: materials/nuclear fuel research (theoretical or practical); materials/nuclear fuel computer modelling or analysis; other thermo-mechanical modelling or analysis.
  • The ability to solve mathematical problems through numerical analysis either by hand or with computer based tools.
  • Practical experience of software development and/or maintenance lifecycle (i.e. computer code development, testing and validation) will be advantageous. Specific experience in FORTRAN will be additionally beneficial.

Competitive Salary & Benefits

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, including a pension scheme, a wide range of flexible benefits to suit your lifestyle, and the opportunity to earn bonus. 

Please let us know if you require flexible working arrangements by highlighting this on your application.  We’re happy to talk about flexibility in line with the requirements of this opportunity.

Why EDF?

#WeAreEDF and are leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission electric future, tackling climate change and helping Britain achieve net zero. 

We are leading the UK's nuclear renaissance, we’re constructing a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, with plans for new power stations at Sizewell C in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex.  Around a fifth of the UK's electricity is generated by our eight nuclear power stations, helping power our customers' homes and businesses. 

At EDF, everyone’s welcome. It’s a powerful statement of our intent to make sure we’re about the people who work with us – a rich and unique mix of backgrounds and experiences that’s vital to shaping a strong and fresh-thinking organisation like ours. Whoever you are and wherever you come from, we’ll embrace the difference you bring and give you opportunities to thrive and succeed.

Join us. Together, we’ll help Britain achieve net zero