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Life in Engineering at Heysham 1 power station

Posted June 22, 2023

After starting her career as an Electrical Design Engineer, Eloise Price has worked in the nuclear industry for over 20 years, developing her experience and expertise with engineering firms and design offices until joining EDF 5 years ago.  

Now working as the Group Head for Fuel Route Engineering at Heysham 1 power station, Eloise shares why she loves the nuclear industry and why Heysham is such a special place to work.

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I love the excitement of being on a nuclear site.  I also feel very proud that we're supplying the country with electricity.

Group Head - Fuel Route

What did your career path from University to Group Head in the Fuel Route team at EDF look like?

After graduating from Liverpool University with a Degree in Electrical Engineering with Electronics, I took up a Graduate role which gave me a great introduction to the nuclear industry. One of my first placements was at Dounreay and I loved being on site and part of large engineering projects. Since then, I’ve worked all over the place on defueling and decommissioning projects… at Hartlepool, Heysham, Dounreay, Wilfa and at Sellafield.  

Having spent many years working with EDF as a contractor, I already had vast experience of Heysham 1 fuel route, particularly the fuelling machine, when I joined EDF. When the vacancy with EDF came up it was perfect - I knew the people, I knew the work and I knew the job. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I love that it’s different every day. The station runs 24/7 and that offers great variety as part of my job. 

The nuclear industry is special because it’s challenging. As safety-related equipment it’s got to work first time and it’s the excitement of making that work that I love. The engineering is interesting, and I get a great sense of achievement when the fuel route process is back and running after we’ve solved a problem. 

I manage a team of 9 people and we get on very well.  The environment is supportive and open - perfect for you to flourish.  We complement each other with our skills and we’re a great team!  

I love the people; I love the place and most of all I love the work – it’s very exciting work!

Group Head - Fuel Route

Can you tell us what your career looks like as Heysham 1 moves closer to the defueling and decommissioning phases? 

We’ve just had a 2-year lifetime extension to keep generating energy until 2026, which is brilliant. For me personally – I started life as a Decommissioning Design Engineer, so I’m really excited about the defueling and decommissioning that will come next and the exciting adventures that will bring! 

During the decommissioning process we’re taking something apart but we’re building new things to do so – it's all new build. The engineering is novel and exciting, with interesting projects to get your teeth into. There’s so much work still to be done on this site. 

What’s it like to live in the local area? 

I used to commute from Wigan and then decided to move up here with my son, who loves it here – especially being near a city and the beach! 

I currently live in Overton, about ten minutes from Heysham 1.  The countryside is beautiful, and there’s so much to do, like walk by the lakes or go into Lancaster on a night out, it really is an amazing place to live. 

I also spent some time living in Heysham village, which is very pretty. I used to love taking a short detour on the way to work and watching the sunrise over the sea. 

How does your work at Heysham help EDF with its ambition to help Britain achieve Net Zero? 

I’m helping the government achieve their net zero promise by 2050 by keeping this reactor running and planning for defueling and decommissioning. 

At the end of a day’s work, I feel I’ve made a difference. I feel proud that I work at EDF and proud that I’m helping the country keep the lights on. 

Whether you’re motivated by fighting climate change, or you're looking for opportunities where you can see that you're making a difference, we’d love to hear from you if you're inspired to join our team.

Latest opportunities at Heysham 1

More about Heysham 1 

Heysham 1 is a nuclear power station on the northwest coast of England near Lancaster and has been generating energy for the UK since 1983 – over 40 years! 

Heysham is the only site in the UK to have two operating nuclear power stations – Heysham 1 and Heysham 2. Learn more about the site and book a tour