Cerberus Nuclear Invest in Resilience Training for Employees

At Cerberus Nuclear we are committed to the wellbeing of our employees. Over the last year we have trained mental health first aiders, supported two of our employees at the CALM Design School and focussed on social and wellbeing activities such as knitting, climbing, roller disco and sunflower growing. The next step in this process was a Resilience Training Day, given by the amazing Bernie from St John Ambulance.

Eleven members of the team attended the training day, where Bernie took us through the 5 pillars of resilience. The training room was a safe space for people to share their feelings and opinions. We would like to thank everyone who attended for their openness on the day, which helped drive conversation, group learning and understanding.

The group worked together to come up with ideas that individuals could then include in their personal action plans. Actions included tasks like meal planning for healthier eating, no phones in bed, thinking about what went well each day, and exercising more, either alone or with friends and family.

Thanks to St John Ambulance, we all have additional tools at our disposal to help foster a resilient workplace culture and improve the wellbeing of the team.

Note: The featured image is from The Wellbeing Project.

Cerberus Nuclear Present at NTEC Radiation Shielding Module

Our Shielding Consultants, John Billingsley and Nick Seibt, recently delivered the Shielding Design Process lecture for this year’s NTEC Radiation Shielding module.

The shielding design process is the industry best practice solution to ensure that the a robust shielding design for facilities with radioactive sources. The process is an iterative one, with new information as the design progresses feeding back into key documents to find the most effective shielding design.

The lecture was well received, with students giving positive feedback on the day. Nick completed the course last year while he was studying for his masters, so he was glad to have the opportunity to represent the company at the lecture that introduced him to us! John and Nick both stayed for the afternoon too to help support the students with some practical work.

Thanks go to Professor Andrew Boston and the NTEC course for inviting us back again this year!

Cerberus Nuclear attend GREEN-NEF CDT Winter School Careers Event

Sarah, Haleema and Sam were pleased to attend the GREEN-NEF Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) careers event, held earlier this month in York at the CDTs annual Winter School. The Winter School is opportunity for all the PhD students on the CDTs to catch up and share presentations and posters about their research.

A highlight of the Winter School is the Careers Event, which this year was sponsored by AWE and attendees included Cerberus Nuclear, alongside other nuclear industry companies such as Nuclear Waste Services, Frazer-Nash, UKAEA, AtkinsRéalis, Mott Macdonald and Sellafield Limited.

The event opened with two-minute introductions from each company, discussing their graduate intake opportunities, company diversity and benefits packages. Sarah delivered the introduction for Cerberus Nuclear, highlighting the company ethos as a small consultancy and the range of clients we provide shielding and criticality capability for.

Everyone then moved on to the main event: networking. The Cerberus Nuclear stall proved very popular, with our representatives chatting non-stop to many interested students, as well as handing out complimentary Haribo. We’re looking forward to following up with many of those interested in our company and recruitment opportunities over the next year.

Our thanks extend to AWE for sponsoring the event and to Mark Clegg of Manchester University for organising the Winter School.

EMI Scheme Anniversary Update

The end of 2023 marked the anniversary of the Cerberus Nuclear EMI scheme, which is a government approved way of rewarding employees with share options. We are delighted that all of the members of the scheme have now exercised their options and have become shareholders of the company!

2024 will be the last year of the current scheme, which has rewarded employees that have been with the company since 2020. We are looking forward to the next round of awarding share options, starting in 2025.

"I'm very happy to be a shareholder in Cerberus Nuclear. I think it's an innovative way to encourage employees to invest in the future of the company. It's great to work for a company that is forward thinking about long-term rewards to employees for their contributions to growing the business." – Toby Tyas, Criticality Technical Lead

Cerberus currently have openings for experienced criticality and shielding specialists to join the team. See the Careers page for more details. 

Cerberus Nuclear Welcomes Graduate Consultants

Cerberus Nuclear is delighted to announce that two more graduate consultants have started with the company this month! 

Prior to joining the company, Andrew Smith successfully completed the NTEC Nuclear Science and Technology Masters. As part of this, Andrew worked with Cerberus Nuclear on his master’s dissertation. His project focused on criticality calculations for a NWS transport package, for which some parameters were varied in order to examine the sensitivity of the multiplication factor. 

Tu Nguyen joins Cerberus Nuclear following the submission of his PhD thesis. Tu’s PhD thesis was on a Research project on Safety, Regulation and Digital Applications for Fusion Powerplants. Prior to his PhD, Tu also completed the PTNR masters course at the University of Birmingham, which has provided him with the background knowledge and nuclear physics and reactor technologies for application in his new role. 

Andrew and Tu have been working on an innovation project since starting with the company. Andrew is joining the criticality safety team, and Tu will be supporting both the shielding and criticality teams in the future. We would like to welcome them both to the company! 

Cerberus Criticality Assessors attend WPC ALARP Workshop

Cerberus Nuclear Criticality Team members, Sarah, Katrina and Haleema, recently engaged in a fantastic ALARP workshop from the Working Party for Criticality (WPC) Continued Professional Development (CPD) catalogue. This workshop was hosted at the Engine Rooms in Birchwood and provided a comprehensive dive into what ALARP means for criticality and how it can best be implemented in practice.

A diverse group of speakers gave their niche expertise, with the additional opportunity to talk through case studies in groups and problem solve issues. This was great in further equipping our team with the knowledge and tools to continue doing great work. A particular favourite was Dave Kirkwood (Sellafield Ltd) talk on “ALARP Considerations within Criticality Emergency Planning”.

We’re really grateful to the event organisers and speakers with additional thanks to the WPC and Deb Hill for organising and facilitating the CPD workshop, providing a collaborative learning environment. A big thank you for such an insightful session! We look forward to integrating the tools we have learnt going forward.

International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety

Cerberus Nuclear recently attended the International Conference on Nuclear Criticality Safety (ICNC) in Sendai, Japan. Held every four years, ICNC is an opportunity to learn about new and novel things happening around the world in criticality safety and well as giving those in attendance an opportunity to discuss criticality concepts with their international colleagues. It was also a great opportunity to see some sights in Japan and spend time with our UK colleagues!

Cerberus nuclear were proud to participate in the conference presenting the following papers:

  • ‘Strategic Characterisation to Support the Development of Criticality Safety Assessments for Decommissioning’ by Tom Page and Barrie Greenhalgh.
  • ‘Implementation of CARTA into Criticality Training Programmes’ by Katrina Christaki, Toby Tyas and Stewart Hay.
  • ‘Cyclone – New Features for Criticality Safety Analyses’ by Stewart Hay, Carl Hughes and Peter Taylor.

As the conference was located in Japan, a number of papers were presented detailing the unique criticality challenges of decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Cerberus Nuclear joined a technical tour to the former power plant, where decommissioning activities were taking place. We visited the Interim storage Facility for Removed Soil and Waste and the tour ended at the site of the accident with each reactor in a different state of decommissioning.

As well as arranging a variety of interesting paper tracks in the conference itself, the organisers arranged a banquet with authentic Japanese food and entertainment which was very well received!

Cerberus would like to thank the conference organisers on a very successful conference and look forward to the next ICNC that will be held a bit closer to home in Manchester, UK.

While in Japan, Stewart and Tom also attended the British embassy in Tokyo to meet the fantastic nuclear trade team there and discuss potential opportunities with a Japanese company. Subsequently, Cerberus Nuclear have been included in the Buyer's Guide to the UK Nuclear Industry, which has been developed for the Japanese Market by the UK Department for Business and Trade.

New Starter: Nick Seibt

Cerberus Nuclear is delighted to welcome Nick Seibt to the company as the first new starter of this year's graduate intake. Nick first started working with the company during his dissertation project for his Master’s degree in Nuclear Science and Technology. His project focused on the generation of a data set for use with MCNP to train a machine learning model, used for identification of crack like structures in concrete.

Previously, Nick has worked in Germany, supporting the decommissioning process of various nuclear facilities, including handling and calibration of industry standard measurement equipment and analysis of procured data. Nick is joining our Radiation Shielding Team, and will also be supporting Nuclear Characterisation projects in the near future.

Cerberus Nuclear Knit Pumpkins

At Cerberus Nuclear, we are always looking for new things to do together. Yesterday, we started a new group activity: knitting! 

The “Crafternoon” was well attended by those with some knitting experience and beginners. The session was seasonal, with a pumpkin pattern being followed by the group. Our Commercial Manager, Emily, took everyone through the knit and purl stitches and was on hand for troubleshooting and catching dropped stitches with her crochet hook. 

"This is harder than learning MCNP"

There were varying degrees of success, with one pumpkin finished, and a couple abandoned along the way, but the remaining four have been taken home for completion. One person even started working through a beginners guide! 

Katrina's completed pumpkin

I’m really happy with what everyone achieved on our first crafternoon. Everyone who attended came with an open mind and it was great to spend some time in the office together doing something other than work. Thank you to everyone for making this a fun afternoon, and congratulations to Katrina for completing her pumpkin! - Emily, Crafternoon Organiser

The session was finished with a takeaway ordered to the office. The feedback for crafting was positive, and plans were put in place for a Christmas themed crafternoon in December. 

Sarah represents Cerberus Nuclear on YGN Tour of Urenco

Sarah O’Sullivan recently represented Cerberus Nuclear on a tour of the Urenco Capenhurst site which was organised by the Nuclear Institute Young Generation Network as part of their technical tour series. 

The day commenced with an introduction to the functionality of the Capenhurst site followed by presentations from early careers technical staff from Urenco UK, Urenco Chem Plants and Urenco Nuclear Stewardship subsidiaries. These covered the current operations and gave insight to both the history of fuel enrichment operations and future projects.  

The latter half of the day consisted of a much-anticipated tour of the largest enrichment plant, following the enrichment process throughout the plant.  

The tour was a fantastic opportunity for networking and getting site context for our new starter. Our thanks extend to the YGN and everyone on the Urenco site for their time and effort in organising and facilitating the event.  

Cerberus Nuclear would also like to thank Urenco for providing the image for our post.