2021 IOP Technician Award - Business
Andrew Goodwin, Sellafield Ltd
For contributing over four decades to non-destructive analysis at Sellafield and developing gamma spectrometry for use on routine and emergency samples, ensuring safety of employees and the general public.
Andrew Goodwin started with British Nuclear Fuels Ltd at Capenhurst before moving to Sellafield where he has been part of the Sellafield Ltd technical profession for over 40 years. His interest in practical technical work, rather than formal education, led to him starting work as an apprentice.
The radiometry area, where Goodwin has specialised for the past 40 years, encompasses gamma spectrometry, alpha spectrometry, alpha/beta counting and liquid scintillation counting. These techniques are essential in maintaining nuclear safety, confirming product quality and demonstrating environmental compliance.
Goodwin is a problem solver and this skill is essential in the radiometric area. He has a wealth of experience and has worked through huge changes on the Sellafield site, such as the commissioning and eventual closure of the Sellafield MOX plant and THORP reprocessing plant.
He has led the radiometric team on managing change and has adapted the section to the new analytical challenges associated with post-operational clean out, remediation and decommissioning. Sample activity levels are now much less predictable, but Goodwin has developed gamma spectrometry screening protocols to enable appropriate decision-making on sample handling to keep people safe.
He also developed a technique to measure and calculate fission products in special nuclear material as well as developing analysis methodologies for beach samples and ad-hoc incident samples.
The Sellafield Laboratory requires creative and inquisitive technicians who can realise the potential of analytical instrumentation within the facility. Goodwin has embraced new technology such as sourceless calibration methodologies and the digitisation of gamma spectrometry systems.
He is currently leading an upgrade to the gamma spectrometry capability and is the key person in specification, installation and setting up of this system.
Goodwin has a great interest in the history of nuclear science, having read both Marie Curie and Ernest Rutherford’s PhD theses. He also keeps up to date with new technology and data analysis. Alongside these outside interests, Goodwin still enjoys working in the labs; he has supported the 24-hour on-call requirement at Sellafield for the past 20 years.
He is always thoroughly professional and approachable, and has left a great mark on the dozens of people he has trained and mentored. He is currently supporting dissertation studies for degree apprentices. Sellafield Ltd is very fortunate to have had Goodwin for so long and he is a great credit to the business.