You will get to work on a high profile and distinctive portfolio, which is rarely out of the news, and have a unique insight into the fascinating world of nuclear. Established in 2016, the Defence Nuclear Organisation (DNO) was set up to oversee all aspects of nuclear business within the MoD; responsible for all submarines (from buying them through to disposal when they reach the end of their life), nuclear warheads, skills, related infrastructure and day-to-day nuclear policy. Defence Nuclear Organisation consists of the people, equipment and infrastructure required to successfully deter the most extreme threats to our national security and way of life.
Within Defence Nuclear Organisation, the Warhead Directorate leads the UK nuclear warhead programme which ensures we have a stockpile of reliable, safe and effective nuclear warheads to support the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent now and in the future. Much of this is delivered through the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), based near Reading.
In February this year Government announced a UK commitment to build a new generation of nuclear weapons to maintain our continuous-at-sea deterrent for the coming decades. Building and maintaining our nuclear weapons, now and into the future, requires the UK to assure its continued access to the various highly-specialised materials and fabrications that are required for safe, reliable and effective weapons.
This new role will be responsible for ensuring that the UK’s nuclear weapons capability is underpinned by effective programmes that develop the infrastructure and delivery plans for the materials and components needed throughout the service life of the UK’s nuclear weapons.
This will be a busy portfolio. The long-term nature of the nuclear programme, the large amounts of investment required, and the specialised nature of the facilities and materials involved mean that there are unique challenges that need to be considered both in the short and long term. As well as leading within a busy Defence Nuclear Organisation area, it will require substantial work across and outside Government.
The post-holder will lead an ambitious programme of investment delivery of infrastructure development and materials delivery, worth multiple hundreds of millions of pounds, primarily based at Atomic Weapons Establishment.
The teams that the post-holder will lead will be responsible for putting in place infrastructure and delivery plans that endure not just for years but decades. The role will also lead the development of Defence Nuclear Organisation’s warhead materials delivery strategy.
The importance of this work to the long-term maintenance of the UK’s continuous-at-sea deterrent, the amount of capital investment involved, and the complex and evolving relationship with Atomic Weapons Establishment mean that a senior-level appointment is required to lead this team.
The post will initially have direct line management for two civil servant deputies, and indirect line management of approximately 30 staff. This team is set to grow as work in this area grows.