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About NIRO

NIRO provides independent strategic and technical advice to Government that will de-risk investment, inform policy, and enable maximum value for money to the UK taxpayer. 

NIRO works in partnership with NIRAB to advise on the research and innovation needed for nuclear energy to play a significant role in the UK’s future low carbon and secure energy mix while creating the environment for UK nuclear industry to contribute significantly to our economy.

Our History

In 2011 the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee carried out an Inquiry into the UK’s nuclear R&D capability and made a number of recommendations on where it viewed improvements were needed. In response the Government published its Nuclear Industrial Strategy in March 2013. This described a clear and ambitious vision of a vibrant UK nuclear industry making a valuable economic contribution and providing the UK with a safe, reliable and affordable source of low carbon electricity. It also identified a series of initial actions to realise those objectives. These included the establishment of a Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board (NIRAB) and a Nuclear Innovation Research Office (NIRO).

NIRAB was originally convened in January 2014 and has provided expert, independent advice on nuclear research and innovation to Government. The first NIRAB operated between 2014 and 2016, producing a report and recommendations that informed Government investment in a substantial Nuclear Innovation Programme (NIP). A second NIRAB membership and Chair operated from 2018-2020 with the work culminating in the report Achieving Net Zero: The Role of Nuclear Energy in Decarbonisation, the key recommendations of which are reflected in the Energy White Paper: Powering our Net Zero Future, HMG, December 2020 and accompanying Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, HMG, December 2020. The third NIRAB was convened in 2021 and will run until the end of 2024. It has been tasked to understand the RD&I required for AMR’s, in particular High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGRs).

NIRAB is supported in its preparation of advice and guidance by the Nuclear Innovation and Research Office (NIRO). 

What work does NIRO offer?

NIRO offers independent, strategic, technical, economic and regulatory advice.

NIRO provides technical input, feedback or peer review for submissions, policy papers, business cases, tender documents, as well as advice to Ministers and design of projects and programmes.

NIRO is a single point of contact for nuclear advice, with access to a wide network of academic and industry contacts for specialised advice or further research.

NIRO coordinates input from a wide network of industry stakeholders.

NIRO offers advice on nuclear innovation and R&D into future nuclear energy technologies.

What work has NIRO delivered?


NIRO provides the Secretariat to the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB),

which provides DESNZ with an additional source of high-level expert advice on research, innovation and cost reduction across the nuclear lifecycle, and in formulating an international collaboration strategy.


Nuclear innovation

NIRO has provided expert input into scoping key elements of the Nuclear Innovation Programme and acts as Technical Advisor supporting SICE in managing delivery of the programme.


Advanced Nuclear Technologies

NIRO assisted DESNZ in defining the future of AMRs to assist in the delivery of net zero carbon targets and post-Covid-19 economic recovery.


UK coordination

NIRO is working closely with DESNZ, the Nuclear Industry Council and Nuclear Industry Association in implementing the Nuclear Sector Deal.


National and international engagement

NIRO has supported DESNZ on key elements of nuclear R&D engagement with other countries and international bodies. This includes coordinating the UK’s involvement in IAEA and OECD NEA activities, supporting DESNZ with the UK-US Action Plan, and assessing the impact of post Brexit / Euratom Exit scenarios on nuclear R&D in the UK.


Landscape reviews

NIRO produces a comprehensive review of the civil nuclear R&D landscape every three years, evaluating government policy, funding sources, location and focus of UK R&D, and the level of experience of the civil nuclear R&D community. 

Join the NIRO Team

While NIRO is an independent, arms-length body of the National Nuclear Laboratory, NIRO utilises support services from NNL, including recruitment.

Would you like to help shape UK energy policy?

NIRO are regularly looking for new people to join the team from across the entirety of the nuclear industry.

We seek applications for secondments to a number of roles providing technical and strategic advice to the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ).

There are regularly new vacancies being advertised based on the rotation of the team through secondments.

These vacancies are advertised through the National Nuclear Laboratory careers system at:

If there are currently no vacancies but you wish to express an interest in working within NIRO please register for updates on new vacancies within the NNL careers system or email: