Former Atkins nuclear chief joins EDF

Atkins’ former nuclear division managing director across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) has joined EDF to lead its nuclear decommissioning operations.

Chris Ball, who was a director at Atkins, has joined the energy giant as its nuclear decommissioning director.

Ball has almost 30 years’ experience working in the nuclear sector. He was an engineer at nuclear decommissioning experts Magnox between 1994 and 2000 before joining Atkins as managing director for energy UK and Europe, a role he held for 17 years.

He became MD for nuclear EMEA after Canadian engineering giant SNC Lavalin acquired Atkins in 2017.

Ball left his post at Atkins in August after 22 years at the firm, most recently helping guide the engineer’s net zero strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Ball said: “The last of the advanced gas-cooled reactor stations will be offline by the end of the decade and EDF has an incredibly important job to do to defuel the stations before transferring them seamlessly to the NDA for Magnox to continue with decommissioning.

“It’s vital we do this safely, efficiently and with value for the taxpayer in mind. I’m excited to be joining EDF as nuclear decommissioning director to lead the team to ensure we deliver on this mission and provide a further platform for growth of the industry which is so vital for the UK’s net zero ambitions.”

SNC Lavalin appointed Christophe Marie Yves Junillon in August to replace Ball as the head of the nuclear and power business. Junillon has worked within SNC Lavalin for 25 years and has been involved in several projects, including the development of the small modular reactor (SMR) and fusion projects.

Joe St Julian, president of nuclear, SNC-Lavalin, said: “Christophe’s dynamic approach to our new build projects in EMEA means he has developed strong and meaningful relationships with our clients across the region, and he is well placed to lead our nuclear and power EMEA team towards continued success.”

In September Atkins announced that its profits had risen 17 per cent to £58.3m to the year ending December 31 2021, up £8.6m on the same period in 2020. Earlier this month Atkins signed a contract to deliver a £500m hydrogen plant in Scotland for industrial giant Ineos.

Ineos bought the site at the Forth Green freeport in 2005 and aims to develop the new hydrogen plant alongside its carbon capture and storage (CCS) site. It said any carbon emissions generated from the production of hydrogen would be pumped offshore to be permanently stored beneath the North Sea.

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