Skip to content

CNI Independent Advisory Panel members

Mark Foy - ONR Chief Nuclear Inspector, Chairperson

Mark was appointed Chief Executive and Chief Nuclear Inspector of the United Kingdom’s Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) from 1 June 2021 having been ONR’s Chief Nuclear Inspector since 2017.

He is an Executive Board member of the ONR and acts as Regulatory Head to provide independent authoritative expert advice on nuclear safety, security and safeguards to the ONR Board, Ministers and Parliament.

During the last 20 years he has successfully led ONR’s regulation across various sectors of the nuclear industry, securing improvements in safety and security performance. 

Mark has 35 years’ experience of the UK’s civil and defence nuclear industry, combined with extensive international experience, having undertaken various senior roles within the international regulatory community. He provides authoritative leadership and insight on nuclear safety and its regulation.

Mark is a Chartered Fellow of the UK’s Nuclear Institute and has an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Alan Poole - Chief Engineer for Jacobs Energy, Security and Technology nuclear focused business

Alan is an apprentice-trained Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) with over 40 years’ experience working in variety of industries ranging from nuclear (civil and defence) through to chemical, automotive, medical and fast-moving consumer goods.

Alan is the Chief Engineer and technical lead for Jacobs’ Energy, Security and Technology nuclear business and has overall responsibility for the technical leadership of engineers, scientists, technicians, project managers, construction and commissioning resources. Alan has a broad knowledge of all aspects of nuclear technology covering the whole of the nuclear fuel cycle including the design of advanced reactors and decommissioning of nuclear facilities. 

Alan’s core expertise is in electrical, control and instrumentation systems design, national and international standards and he has supported the development of national and international nuclear standards and guides (BSi, IEC) by sitting on standards development committees. Alan was nationally recognised as an expert in his field and was awarded the National Skills Academy for Nuclear Subject Matter Expert of the year award in 2019.

Alan has served on national and international committees including the OECD NEA MDEP Boiling Water Reactor Technical Working Group (Chair), the WNA CORDEL Digital Instrumentation and Control Task Force, the Nuclear Institute’s Digital Special Interest Group and ECITB’s Nuclear Forum (Northern region).

Alan is passionate about STEM education and actively supports early career development and he is a member of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education’s Engineering and Manufacturing Route Panel representing the nuclear industry.


Dame Sue Ion - British engineer and an expert advisor on the nuclear power industry. Hon President National Skills Academy for Nuclear (NSAN)

Sue is Honorary President of the UK National Skills Academy for Nuclear. She was Chair of the UK Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) until March 2017. She represented the UK on a number of international review and oversight committees for the nuclear sector including the European Union Euratom Science and Technology Committee which she chaired 2012-2018. She is currently the Chair of the Science Advisory Board for the Canadian National Nuclear Laboratory.

Sue spent 27 years with British Nuclear Fuels Ltd rising to the position of Chief Technology Officer in 1992, a post she held until the company was wound up in 2006

Sue was a member of the UK Council for Science and Technology 2004-2011. She was a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Laboratory of the UK Health and Safety Executive from 2006-2014. She has been a member of the UK Nuclear Regulator’s Office of Nuclear Regulation [ONR]) Technical Advisory Panel since September 2014.

She was Deputy Chair of the Board of the University of Manchester on which she served 2004-2018 and is currently a Member of the Board of the University of Central Lancashire. Sue holds a visiting Professorship at Imperial College London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Fellow of the Royal Society and Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

Fiona Rayment - Chief Science and Technology Officer, National Nuclear Laboratory

Fiona has dedicated 30 years to the nuclear sector with extensive strategic and operational experience. She is a chartered chemist and engineer with a PhD in chemistry from University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry and of the UK Nuclear Institute. She has an MBA from Manchester Business School.

Fiona has recently served as a member of Euratom’s Science and Technology Committee, the Idaho National Laboratory's Nuclear Science and Technology Advisory Committee, the American Nuclear Society Board, the UK Nuclear Institute and is immediate past chair of the UK’s Nuclear Skills Strategy Group. Her other roles across the sector include being a member of the Nuclear Industry Council and the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board.

Fiona is chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Energy Division at CEA - the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, a Non-Executive Member of the UK Space Agency Steering Board and Patron of Women in Nuclear UK.

In addition to representing the UK at a variety of international meetings, Fiona is a regular keynote and plenary speaker at international nuclear conferences and is a vice chair of the Nuclear Energy Agency’s Steering Committee Bureau and Policy Director of the Generation IV International Forum.

Fiona has long advocated widening participation in science and engineering and champions our sector-leading approach to diversity and inclusion.

Francis Livens - Professor of Radiochemistry, University of Manchester, and Non-Executive Director, Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Francis is a radiochemist and has worked at the University of Manchester since 1991. At the University of Manchester, he has worked in many aspects of nuclear fuel cycle research, including effluent treatment, waste immobilisation and actinide chemistry.

He was the founding director of the BNFL-sponsored Centre for Radiochemistry Research, established in Manchester in 1999 and was Director of the University’s Dalton Nuclear Institute from 2017 to 2023. While Director of the Dalton Institute, he fostered research exploring the linkages between Science & Engineering and Humanities, addressing the societal, cultural and organisational aspects of implementing nuclear technologies in modern societies. He has a particular commitment to high level skills development, and led two EPSRC-funded Centres for Doctoral Training Centres.

Beyond academia, Francis has Chaired the Nuclear Innovation & Research Advisory Board since 2021, advising government on Advanced Nuclear Technologies, He is also a Non-Executive Director of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, with particular interests in Technology & Innovation, Sustainability, and development of Subject Matter Experts.

Professor Livens is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Member of the Institute of Strategic Studies.

Jen Ablitt - Deputy Director Rail Safety Strategy, Policy and Planning at the Office of Rail and Road (ORR)

Jen returned to ORR after six years at the European Union Agency for Railways. She now leads on legislative development and guidance, ORR’s risk tools and strategic activity planning, the Risk Management Maturity Model, oversight of rail safety statutory processes and leads the rail health and safety specialist team. 

Her areas of special interest include regulatory strategy, regulatory approaches to enable innovation, reporting, data collection and analysis processes, as well as safety management and the relationship with organisational culture. 

Jen has a decade of experience in international engagement, and has recently successfully led ORR’s return to participation in the European Agency’s work.  

She lives in South-West London and is a proud solo mum to her two-year old daughter.

Jo Nettleton - Deputy Director for Radioactive Substances and Installations Regulation at the Environment Agency

Following a career in medical physics and radiation research, Jo joined HSE as a radiation specialist inspector, regulating the use of ionising radiations across medicine, research, education and industry and working on related strategy and policy.

Jo moved to join the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (ONR’s predecessor), leading teams to regulate nuclear decommissioning (including environmental impact assessment), conventional health and safety and nuclear safeguards, before joining HSE's Hazardous Installations Inspectorate, leading regulation of biological agents, explosives and chemical industries.

She joined the Environment Agency in 2015. She is now Deputy Director and Head of Radioactive Substances and Installations Regulation most recently leading a review of the Environment Agency’s regulatory work, setting up a team to improve their regulatory resilience and taking a temporary role as EA’s Chief Scientist.

Jo is currently a member of the IAEA International Task Force of Experts advising the government of Japan on the discharge to the marine environment of treated radioactively contaminated water from the Fukushima disaster.

Jill Sutcliffe - NGO - Long involvement with environmental issues focussed on energy, wildlife and planning

Jill’s had a long involvement with environmental issues focussing on energy, wildlife and planning. Environmental courses were not available in the 1960s, so Jill attended Leicester University to do a Combined Sciences degree and was inspired by Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, which prompted the emergence of environmental action groups. She was appointed Environment Officer at the National University of Singapore, a development parallel to that of the launch of UK national Friends of the Earth. Walt Patterson’s book on nuclear power prompted a lifelong interest in the subject.

In 1976, the first US nonviolent mass demonstration occurred– see pamphlet Hell No, We Won't Glow - Seabrook, Nonviolent Occupation of a Nuclear Power Site - which she edited. She was a co-editor at Peace News and took a prominent role in preparing people to take part in the nonviolent occupation of the site at Torness proposed for a nuclear power station (NPS).

In 1980 Cornwall Anti-Nuclear Alliance was established after three NPSs were proposed, which was rejected in 1983. This led to her working with the late Phil Davis at national FOE in the aftermath of the Chernobyl.

In 1985 members of the public set up the Low Level Radiation and Health standing conference which Jill coordinated for many years from 1991. An application,for a reprocessing plant was called in and she became an objector and gave evidence in Thurso. Between 1988-89 she ran the Objectors Office funded by Greenpeace. She provided evidence at the planning inquiry into a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

From 1991 to 1997 Jill studied for a masters in Environment Technology  and then a PhD specialising in radioactivity in the environment at Imperial College, London, including a specific course on Environmental Impact Assessment.

Between 1998-2007 she worked at Natural England on wildlife and radiation which led to the formation of Group 5 at the International Commission on Radiological Protection which produced a series of UK wildlife guides with publishers WildGuides. 

In 2014, Jill’s village became the first in the UK to successfully object to drilling for fossil fuels and the application by Celtique Energie was refused by West Sussex County Council planning committee. 

Jill co-chairs the ONR-NGO Forum and is covering one of the two places on the ONR IAP.

Tim Abram - Westinghouse Chair in Nuclear Fuel Technology

Tim has been the Westinghouse Chair in Nuclear Fuel Technology at the University of Manchester since 2008. Prior to this he gained over 20 years research experience in nuclear fuels and advanced reactors technology in the UK (at BNFL and the National Nuclear Laboratory) and in the USA (at Westinghouse). Before joining the University, Tim was the Senior Research Fellow for Fuels and Reactor Systems at NNL, where he retains the position of Senior Visiting Fellow.

He has experience in the design, performance and safety analysis of all major fuel and reactor types, and in the development of computer codes for the analysis of fuel performance. He has participated in over 15 EU Framework research projects in nuclear fuel and reactor technology, and is the UK's representative on the IAEA TWG on Gas-Cooled Reactors.

He also represents the UK on the Generation-IV International Forum’s VHTR Steering Committee. He was a member of the government’s Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) from 2014-16, and again from 2018 to 2021. He has been an External Examiner for the Royal Navy’s nuclear engineering programmes, and for the University of Cambridge MPhil in Nuclear Engineering.

Tim is the Director of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre for Nuclear Science and Engineering, and leads the Manchester Nuclear Fuel Centre of Excellence: a collaboration between the University and NNL that undertakes research into Uranium, Thorium, and Plutonium-bearing nuclear fuel materials.

From 2009 to 2023 he led the development of Urenco’s U-Battery: a 10 MWt micro-reactor based on a prismatic high-temperature reactor design. His research group has also contributed to the development of the Stable Salt Reactor: a molten salt reactor design being developed by Moltex Energy.

Peter Burt - NGO

Peter has an academic background in the biological sciences and biochemical engineering and during the course of his career has worked in the regulatory and NGO sectors, and as a self-employed freelance researcher.

For most of the last decade he has been undertaking research into the UK's nuclear weapons programme and broader matters of defence policy, having previously worked in the environmental sciences field. 

From 2009-2016 Peter was based with the Nuclear Information Service, a not-for-profit, independent information service which works to promote public awareness and foster debate on nuclear disarmament and related safety and environmental issues. His research interests at NIS included:

  • Normal accidents and the risks of accidents involving nuclear weapons.
  • Radioactive waste management and ethics in nuclear decision-making.
  • Public participation and stakeholder engagement in nuclear decision-making.

He is currently working at Drone Wars UK - a small NGO which monitors the use and development of armed drones by UK armed forces - focusing on investigating the development of autonomy in armed drones and the emergence of military disruptive technologies.

Robin Grimes - Chief Scientific Adviser FCO and a professor of materials physics at Imperial College London

Robin is currently the Steele Chair of Energy Materials at Imperial College. From 2017 until November 2021 he was Chief Scientific Adviser (nuclear) to the Ministry of Defence, between 2013 and 2018 Chief Scientific Adviser to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and between 2021 and 2023 Foreign Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society. 

In his research, he uses computer simulation techniques to predict the behaviour of materials for energy applications including nuclear fission and fusion, fuel cells, batteries and solar cells. 

Robin is a Fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

John May - Leads research in the Safety Systems Research Centre

Paul Bowen - Feeney Professor of Metallurgy and Materials. University of Birmingham

Sarah Williamson - Construction Technical Director for BYLOR