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NNL: The National Nuclear Laboratory, United Kingdom

The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) brings together a world-class nuclear research staff and facilities. The NNL is a unique resource constituting the bulk of the UK’s remaining national nuclear research
capability and all of the civil nuclear research facilities. The company comprises approximately 650 highly qualified staff based at six locations around the United Kingdom, operates both active and non-active research facilities and provides specialist technical and consulting services to a range of UK and overseas customers including the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, MoD, UKAEA, British Energy, Magnox Electric Ltd, Sellafield Ltd and other commercial organisations.

The National Nuclear Laboratory provides a range of independent technology services to support operating nuclear plants as well as decommissioning and clean-up activities and scientific research organisations. These services include the ability to accommodate and conduct both active and inactive work at its facilities. 
The mission of the NNL includes the following:

  • To be an international centre of excellence in nuclear research and development, playing a vital role in cleaning up the UK's nuclear waste legacy and contributing to the programme of nuclear new build.
  • To create a platform for UK and internationally funded R&D
  • To safeguard the UK's high-tech nuclear expertise, facilities and skills.
  • To support the UK’s strategic nuclear research and development requirements
  • To operate world class facilities that underpin nuclear research undertaken by UK and international customers
  • To safeguard and enhance key skills that are essential to deliver the UK’s nuclear policy
  • To deliver value for customers through the provision of first class science-based research and technical solutions
  • To spin out commercial operations to assist in the development of the market for the provision of nuclear research

Colin Zimmerman, is a technical specialist with 33 years experience in applied nuclear physics. He joined BNFL in 1981 after five years of post doctoral research in the Nuclear Physics Group of the University of Edinburgh. He has worked on the design and installation of gamma and neutron measurement instruments on operating plant at the Sellafield reprocessing plant and for the last 20 years been a leading member of a team involved with reactor physics and radiation transport calculations supporting Sellafield operations. Recently he has managed the BNFL partitioning and transmutation (P&T) project, been a member of the OECD/NEA Working Party on the Science of the Fuel Cycle and the Expert Group on the Impact of Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycle Options on Waste Management Policies, and been a partner in and work package leader of the 6th Framework RED-IMPACT project (‘Impact of Partitioning, Transmutation and Waste Reduction Technologies on Final Nuclear Waste Disposal’). He is the lead author on a wide range of applied nuclear science papers including 34 papers published in journals and conference proceedings and 55 internal laboratory reports.