Title

David Bremner

EMPLOYER  Magnox

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

  • Non- Radioactive Environmental Adviser

  • Radioactive Waster Adviser

  • Radiation Protection Adviser

  • Radioactive Material Transport Officer
 

David Bremner CEnv MNucl CSci

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS PROFESSION?

I have a scientific background (degree in chemistry) and started work with UKAEA as a radiochemist then transitioned into waste management. It then seemed to be a natural step to move into radiological and environmental protection within the nuclear industry. I have always been interested in science and the nuclear industry seemed to be the right industry for me to continue my interest in science. My managers with UKAEA motivated me to expand my knowledge in the nuclear industry and they sponsored me to do my chemistry degree, to help with my career progression.

 

WHY DID YOU BECOME A CENV?

To gain external accreditation. Others said to me it would be too much work and too difficult, which motivated even more to go for it. I also felt it would help me expand and enhance my knowledge of the environment and environmental legislation. I am also passionate about environmental sustainability.

 

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BENEFITS OF CENV?

It demonstrates to my employer and other key stakeholders that I have been accredited by a national independent body as a professional environmentalist.

 

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO BE A RECOGNISED ENVIRONMENTAL PROFESSIONAL?

It demonstrates to my employer and other key stakeholders (including environmental regulators) that I am an environmental professional and competent to provide environmental advice to ensure compliance with environmental legislation. It also gives me a sense of pride that I am recognised as a professional environmentalist by a professional body.

This is particularly important in the nuclear industry as non-radioactive environmental legislation has not historically been high on the agenda in comparison to nuclear and radiological safety. Project managers etc are not always fully aware of environmental legislation. For example, the need to comply with F-gas legislation when installing air conditioning units on new build projects, compliance with pollution prevention control legislation when installing grout plants for encapsulating radioactive wastes, compliance with ecology legislation when preparing to construct new facilities on nuclear sites (such as preventing the disturbance of birds’ nests), compliance with non-radioactive/special waste legislation during nuclear decommissioning, ensuring nuclear sites have an up-to-date environmental aspects register etc. 

Therefore it is important that chartered environmentalists are a key part of the team within the nuclear industry to ensure environmental legislation compliance, and it is important to highlight environmental sustainability, particularly at this time when global climate change is a high priority.

 

WHAT DOES YOUR CENV ACCREDITATION MEAN TO YOU?

It gives me a sense of professional pride and gives me confidence when providing advice

 

HOW DID YOU FIND THE APPLICATION PROCESS? ANY TIPS FOR ASPIRING CENVS?

The paper application is quite thorough, and it is important to give practical examples of work you had done. When the application is accepted, this is generally followed up with an interview (either face-to-face or via Skype), with two CEnvs. This will last for an hour. Again it is important to prepare for the interview with plenty of practical work examples (e.g. interactions with regulators, advice to employers, environmental improvements, reporting non-compliances, keeping up-to-date with new legislation, training etc).

 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

Continue in my role with Magnox Ltd and drive forward environmental improvements within the nuclear industry and carry out CPD to maintain my accreditations, have also agreed to become a CEnv assessor for the Nuclear Institute, so I look forward to seeing your submissions.