Head of Nuclear Operations and Engineering


Head of Nuclear Operations and Engineering



Sector: Nuclear R&D

Category: Engineering

Thomas Thor are working in an exclusive partnership with newcleo to support their UK operational expansion and create the senior structure of their technical delivery team.

About newcleo

Privately funded and headquartered in London, newcleo was launched in 2021 to be a disruptor in the field of nuclear energy. Its mission is to generate safe, clean, economic and practically inexhaustible energy for the world, through a radically innovative combination of existing, accessible technologies. With visionary co-founders, newcleo capitalises on thirty years of R&D activity in metal-cooled fast reactors and liquid-lead cooling systems, and our senior management and advisory team can boast hundreds of years in cumulative hands-on experience.

newcleo’s technology, mostly comprising a novel approach to already qualified solutions, addresses equally well the three challenges affecting the nuclear industry to date: waste, safety and cost.

  • Waste:Our fast reactors are capable of efficient “burning” (i.e., fission) of depleted uranium, plutonium and Minor Actinides. When operated with MOX fuel generated from reprocessed nuclear waste, our reactors not only ensure sustainability by closing the fuel cycle, but can also boost energy independence
  • Safety: Our lead-cooled reactors operate at atmospheric pressure. The properties of lead (thermal capacity and conductivity, boiling point, chemically inert, low neutron activation, shielding properties) together with newcleo’s passive safety systems ensure very high levels of safety
  • Cost: Our reactor design has been optimised over the last 20 years leading to the concept of an ultra-compact and transportable 200MWe modules with improvements in energy density compared to other technologies. Costs are kept low by means of simplicity, compactness, modularity, atmospheric pressure operation and elevated output temperature.

In the UK, newcleo’s immediate focus is on delivering a prototype 30MWe LFR by 2030 followed by an initial battery of 4-6 x 200MWe reactors with deployment planned for the early 2030s. We are also considering options for the manufacture and supply of MOX fuel. We are building our team to meet this challenging and exciting objective.

The Role

The Head of Nuclear Operations and Engineering has two main areas of responsibility – to develop
commissioning and plant operations and maintenance capabilities necessary to accept newcleo’s fleet of
UK reactors into safe, secure, clean and reliable commercial operation and to develop and lead the core
technical capability required to perform newcleo’s Design Authority responsibilities. As a key member of
the newcleo UK leadership team, you will bring significant credibility and critical experience of UK
operational nuclear plant into the organisation and influence/ lead by example to ensure operational
and nuclear safety, security and environmental protection considerations are fully taken into account in
defining and delivering against overall project objectives, statutory requirements and regulatory
expectations and operational performance.

* Lead newcleo’s UK nuclear operations and engineering function including the design authority,
pre-operations and commissioning teams.
* Ensure newcleo’s core safety, security and environmental protection capability is defined,
established and maintained at all times.
* Establish the Design Authority organisation, to include all relevant design and design
substantiation oversight arrangements, assume leadership responsibility for the integrity of the
safety, security and environmental cases and ultimately accept the design on behalf of newcleo
as licensee.
* Develop the commissioning strategy and plan.
* Develop a robust and credible reactor operations and maintenance strategy and operations
readiness plan to ensure newcleo’s reactors can be placed into safe, secure, clean and reliable
commercial operation in a timely manner.
* Be responsible for control of the site(s) from point of receipt of first fuel on the site.
* Ensure robust application of established newcleo policies, processes and procedures whilst
contributing to their ongoing development and continuous improvement.
* Establish strong supply chain partnerships and industrial collaborations to realise delivery
* Build strong stakeholder relationships at a local, regional, national and international level,
helping to grow newcleo’s reputation, credibility and support for our projects.
* Lead by example on international collaboration, knowledge sharing and team working with
colleagues across UK, Italy and France.
* Contribute to building newcleo’s overall UK business case.
* Play a key role as part of the UK leadership team including deputising for the Project Director,
UK Operations as required.

* Deep knowledge and understanding of nuclear science and engineering and UK nuclear
* A highly capable, flexible and adaptable leader; Ability to build and lead appropriate capability
across people, processes and systems whilst implementing transformational change.
* Value focused with a strong understanding of power plant commercial/economic drivers.
* Degree in a relevant engineering or science subject.
* Willingness to travel nationally and internationally as part of the role.

Daria Farcas

Interested in this position?

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Daria Farcas


6+ years’ experience in international engineering recruitment. Enjoy working on senior level technical roles that prove challenging to fill. Specialized in the nuclear industry – new build projects, having a particular interest in advanced nuclear technology. Focused on building strong relationships with candidates and clients to ensure a positive candidate experience and effective account management.

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