Chair of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Body: Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
Appointing Department: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sector: Energy
Location: UK various
Skills required: Major Projects
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Remuneration for the role is £187,500 per annum.
Time Requirements: The expected time commitment for this role is 2-3 days per week.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Dr Ros Rivaz appointed as new Chair of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority
The NDA today announced that Dr Ros Rivaz has been appointed as Chair of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, succeeding Tom Smith, whose term as Chair ends on 31 August 2020.

Date: 29/05/2020

View Announcement

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) plays a role of national importance; cleaning up our nuclear legacy in a safe, secure and cost-effective way, and securing disposal of nuclear materials into the future to enable the UK’s green economy. In 2018 its expenditure exceeded £3bn.

The current estimate of outstanding nuclear liabilities is £131bn. But the NDA’s work is also critical to the current and future operation of the UK civil nuclear industry, making the NDA’s success important for the UK’s low carbon future.

A non-departmental public body established by the Energy Act 2004, the NDA has 17 designated nuclear licensed sites across Great Britain plus the associated liabilities and assets. It is sponsored by – and represents a significant proportion of the budget of – the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS); it is also responsible to Scottish ministers.

The NDA does not directly manage its 17 sites; instead they are grouped, regulated and operated through Site Licence Companies (SLCs). The NDA has a strategic role which establishes the overall approach to the decommissioning and waste management work across its wider group and oversees its safe and efficient delivery through the NDA’s group of companies. The SLCs are responsible for the safe operation at the sites and delivery of the NDA’s strategy, benefiting from the support and knowledge of the wider NDA group.

The Chair of the NDA is a critical and highly visible role of national importance, providing effective leadership and direction to the Board, offering appropriate and robust challenge in shaping the organisation’s strategy. Appointed by the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in consultation with Scottish ministers, the Chair will lead the NDA through a period of change, maintaining effective relationships with stakeholders, and representing the NDA externally.


  • Lead the Board effectively, drawing out the skills and experience of other Non-Executive Board Members (NEDs) and working collaboratively with the Executive. Ensure the optimal balance between support and challenge, particularly between the Non-Executive and Executive Board Members both through setting the best example as well as leading and guiding Board discussions and decisions. Ensure that the Board is effective in providing direction and holding the executive to account.
  • Develop the Board as a whole, increasing its breadth of skills and overall effectiveness ensuring its continuing progress and its composition, assessing skills against requirements. Work with HMG to play a leading role in attracting and identifying new NEDs as existing terms expire to take the organisation forward, ensuring they have the support and induction they need to be effective. Uphold the highest standards of integrity and probity of the Board.
  • Establish a close and effective working relationship with the CEO and the Executive team of the NDA and be available to provide them with advice and support as required. Constructively manage relationships with leaders across the NDA group, particularly with subsidiary Boards and Chairs. Assist in the further development of a world class management capability as it moves into a new phase in its operations.
  • Lead the NDA and its Board through a period of change, as the NDA evolves its organisation and responds to increased scrutiny following the Magnox judgment. Maintain and improve the partnership of trust with its sponsor department.
  • Ensure the Board, and the wider governance structure, effects appropriate authority in its engagement with the Executive, informed with the right information and analysis. Promote the highest standards of corporate governance and ensure that the NDA complies with all governance requirements.
  • Play a leading role in the NDA’s engagement with its key stakeholders, both with Parliament and HM Government – including Ministers and officials in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Government Investments (UKGI), HM Treasury, and the Scottish Government – and externally, such as the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), local stakeholder groups, and its supply chain. Do so as an influencer and working in conjunction / partnership with the CEO and other senior Executives, as well as the NDA’s subsidiaries within the wider NDA group to ensure that the NDA understands, and has the right profile with, its stakeholders.

Person Specification

Your application should demonstrate the following criteria:


  • Comprehensive experience at Board-level as a Chair or Non-Executive of an important and complex organisation, achieving successful outcomes through board leadership, constructive challenge and support;
  • Change oriented – have a track record of supporting organisations to deliver organisational and cultural improvements;
  • Experienced in a matrix environment managing multi-stakeholder relationships;
  • Able to shape a Board for the future and support new Board members;
  • Possess gravitas, independence and personal resilience; and
  • Be based in the UK and able to handle highly sensitive information of national importance – developed vetting (DV) security clearance will be required.


  • Previous experience as a Chair;
  • Experience within or working close to the nuclear sector OR experience working in a safety critical industry;
  • Experienced in major projects and programme management;
  • Experience of operating in a regulated industry;
  • Experience working with or close to government; and
  • Experience of media handling during a time of scrutiny.

Additional Information

BEIS is committed to providing equal opportunities for all, irrespective of race, age, disability, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, transgender and working patterns and to the principle of public appointments on merit with independent assessments, openness and transparency of process.

BEIS offers professional training courses on public sector finance and governance for those new to the public sector.

How to Apply

Saxton Bampfylde Ltd is acting as an employment agency advisor to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on this appointment. Candidates should apply for this role through our website at, using code AANAD.

Click on the ‘apply’ button and follow the instructions to upload a CV and cover letter.

The closing date for applications is 23:00 on 7 October.

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