Nuclear Directorate’s industry secondment project

Three members of staff currently employed by HSE’s Nuclear Directorate are there on secondment from industry and two more will join in the next couple of months.

Mike Pigott, Andy Bevan and Sophie Morrison are employed by the regulator on secondment from industry. Mike is working on new build and transformation projects, Andy is assisting on site inspections and Sophie is employed as a process-mapping consultant working on our business management system (BMS).

ND transformation programme director Paul Brown explained: “Mike, Andy and Sophie are welcome additions to the team. Their industry knowledge and expertise, and fresh ideas, are helping us adapt to an ever-changing industry.

“The initiative gives the secondees a solid understanding of the work of the industry regulator, which we hope they will share with their colleagues at the end of their secondments.

“We do of course, need to ensure such a programme does not impinge on our independence from industry and we have processes in place to make sure that there are no conflicts of interest

“We will keep this initiative under constant review, but early indications are that this is of mutual benefit and is one of the various ways we are improving how we do business as we aim to develop as a world-leading regulator.”

Mike Pigott

Mike Pigott usually works for Magnox as a Wylfa site programme manager, responsible for the delivery of a £100m annual portfolio of work at Wylfa site on Anglesey supported by his team of about 30 people. Mike was approached by his line manager Steve Liptrot (Magnox programme director) about the secondment opportunity in HSE’s Nuclear Directorate as new build programme manager. He started the 12-month placement in May 2010. 

Mike says: “I came in as a new build programme manager. I expected there to be a big learning curve and there was. I now have a much broader appreciation for the regulation of the nuclear industry but also Sellafield and the wider existing nuclear legacy.”

Mike is responsible for the programme management in the Nuclear Directorate’s nuclear new build programme, particularly the licensing and permissioning activities associated with Horizon Nuclear Power’s proposed new developments at Wylfa and Oldbury.  He also supports the ND’s transformation team in its goal of establishing a corporate programme management office which he has hands on experience of implementing over the past seven years with Magnox. “I like the opportunity to complement the roles of assessors and inspectors with the tools and techniques of programme management to maintain efficient and effective regulation of the nuclear industry hence maintaining nuclear safety” he said.

Andy Bevan

Andy Bevan, from Babcock Marine and Technology, started his ND secondment in June 2009 and has six months remaining.

Andy joined Babcock Marine and Technology in September 2005 on a graduate training scheme and has worked on nuclear and non-nuclear projects, including providing support to the development of bespoke non-destructive testing equipment for submarine tail shafts, and the design and development of a protection arrangement for the retaining bolts for frigate propellers.

Andy said: “My perspective of ND before I started my secondment was that I knew regulators have to assess, influence and interface with a variety of people from differing backgrounds, which I anticipated would represent an interesting challenge.

“The inspectors are clearly capable and know the legal framework. The secondment has helped me understand what inspectors have to focus on, the challenges they face, the internal processes – and more importantly, why the regulator needs to respond and why it makes the decisions it makes.”

Andy has been assisting inspectors with assessment and inspection activities to support the regulation of existing nuclear power stations, which included visiting a variety of sites, and is currently involved in nuclear new build for Hinkley Point C. He said: “I like the complexity of the decision making process, with there being both technical and regulatory considerations. There is a good variety of work, and the secondment has helped develop my knowledge of both the civil nuclear industry and UK nuclear regulation.”

Sophie Morrison

Sophie Morrison is on a six-month secondment from BAE Systems in Barrow, Cumbria, where she is on the last year of her business apprenticeship.

She recently joined the Nuclear Directorate’s business management systems (BMS) team as a process-mapping consultant. 

Sophie said: “I have spent the past two years working on various projects relating to the new Astute Class submarines and their reactors and am now hoping to get a new perspective on the nuclear industry.

“I now work with the BMS team as a process-mapping consultant. It has given me the opportunity to meet with subject matter experts and reviewers and to go through the different processes.

“I had been involved in internal regulation at Barrow and I wanted to see the other side of it. My expectations have been exceeded. I am going on a few site visits early this year. It will be interesting to see what the different sites do.

“During my time here I have also observed an emergency exercise. I found it really interesting – the scenario was really believable and it was good to see what was happening at this end.”

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