EDF UK R&D Net Zero Heroes: Ruth
In the summer of 2020, EDF UK launched its company purpose ‘Helping Britain achieve Net Zero’ and EDF UK’s CEO Simone Rossi set out how all employees can play their part. We recognise here at EDF UK the work we do makes us all ‘Net Zero Heroes’ and this is particularly true at EDF UK R&D. It is the reason why we have decided to create a new section in our newsletters highlighting how some researchers/individuals are helping Britain achieve Net Zero with some concrete actions. For this portrait, we are hearing from Ruth – Fuel & Reactor Physics R&D Lead within our Nuclear R&D team.
How long have you worked at EDF, and how long in EDF UK R&D?
I joined EDF R&D (and EDF!) in April 2023 as the Fuel and Reactor Physics R&D Technical Lead. Before that I worked at Frazer-Nash Consultancy, specialising in reactor physics. Much of my time there was supporting the Reactor Physics Group in Nuclear Services and applying my reactor physics knowledge to develop safety cases, most recently leading the reactor physics aspects of the defueling safety case.
What is your role within EDF UK R&D and how does it help Britain achieve Net Zero?
As the Fuel and Reactor Physics R&D Technical Lead I coordinate the R&D in these areas. This involves spending time with the Fuel and Reactor Physics groups in Nuclear Services, helping them to explore what their R&D needs are. I have also been looking further ahead, beyond our current fleet of reactors, to work out what the fuel and reactor physics R&D needs are for High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGRs) and where EDF UK could assist with delivering this R&D.
What do you like best about working in EDF UK R&D?
I really like the culture in EDF UK R&D. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming and easy to talk to. This is important when we are working in so many different locations! I am enjoying the autonomy to direct the work how I think it should be done. This was very daunting to begin with but it is nice to be able to have an idea and have the time to explore and develop it.
What’s your favourite of the projects you’ve worked on in the last year?
I have really enjoyed developing the R&D roadmap for HTGRs. I have learnt a lot about a new type of reactor technology and the complexities associated with the fuel and reactor physics modelling. I have enjoyed the challenge of things of how I would go about addressing the gaps to licensing in these areas. The hard part has been working out what is a gap in my knowledge, or a gap in EDF’s knowledge or a genuine gap in global understanding. I am looking forward to tackling some of the R&D items I have identified next year.