National Physical Laboratory

Retaining knowledge in the nuclear industry

NPL was awarded a contract to work with the nuclear industry to help them retain knowledge in the context of an ageing workforce.

The Challenge

Value Scorecard For Investment in University Research & Skills

Partner University:               Reporting Period:


Number of skills gaps that are targeted by project(s)
- Number of recruits achieved
- Number of recruits retained after 5 years

Technology Development

- Number of projects linked to strategic development roadmaps
- TRL change achieved
- % of project outputs adopted into operations within 24 months of completion


- Predicted return on investment
- Actual return on investment
- Total amount of co funding achieved

Risk and Reputation

- REF level of academic collaborator
- Number of collaborators engaged in national / international committees and related networks

Knowledge Engagement & Exploitation

- Number of collaborative projects initiated by university
- Number of collaborative partners engaged beyond selected universities
- Number of reports added to database

NPL uses a value scorecard, like this example, to assess impact of activities

The long timeframes involved in decommissioning and storage, along with the abiding need for the highest health and safety practices are constant realities in the nuclear energy sector. This requires innovative developments from specialists to provide appropriate solutions.

Add to that the complication of an ageing workforce and you have a distinctive set of challenges around retaining know-how. NPL has contracted with key industry members to explore innovative approaches to these challenges.

The Solution

Using its impact assessment techniques, NPL constructed a value scorecard to identify the priority objectives and address the knowledge management requirements to improve the effectiveness of the strategic relationships that lead to more critical knowledge retention within the sector.

For example, it was identified that the industry needs to nurture its relationships with universities that are active in nuclear energy research. This provides a route to current state-of-the-art knowledge generation, and a source of appropriately skilled graduates and post-graduates.

The Impact

As a result, the industry client is now better placed to understand how to retain and share knowledge amongst its staff. This will help contribute towards protecting the UK's energy generation expertise.

If you have a similar issue that you think NPL could help with, please contact Tim Prior

Find out more about NPL's work in the energy sector

Last Updated: 23 Apr 2014
Created: 10 Mar 2011


Please note that the information will not be divulged to third parties, or used without your permission