Mike Underwood

United Kingdom, Europe

Mr. Mike Underwood is a NAC International, Principal Consultant engaged for nuclear fuel quality surveillance in the UK.

He has been a nuclear quality professional in the UK for over 40 years working latterly as a freelance consultant. Prior to this he worked for Magnox Ltd, a UK Government funded nuclear reactor decommissioning company as a Senior Nuclear Waste Consultant, he facilitated the establishment of a newly formed Waste Department after company re-structuring, leading the establishment of role and training profiles and departmental instructions. He was the Project Manager for introduction of a common process for radioactive waste characterisation including the establishment of 5-year framework agreements with radiochemistry laboratories for analysis of low and intermediate level waste from Magnox’s 10 nuclear sites.

Before this, still for Magnox Ltd, Mr Underwood was an internal consultant to the corporate Engineering Department, the “Intelligent Customer” for management systems and a leader of engineering project audits and reviews. He developed and rolled-out a corporate engineering stage-gated process including four key Value Management events: value planning, optioneering, optimisation and analysis. He was subsequently a Value Management facilitator leading workshops to help engineering projects prepare for and make key decisions.

Mr Underwood’s early and middle career was working for BNFL (British Nuclear Fuel Limited), latterly Westinghouse at the Springfields site near Preston which manufactures fuel for the UK reactor fleet and at BNFL’s corporate HQ at Risley, both in the north of England. His roles for BNFL, over a 25-year period included:

Corporate EHSQ Assurance Manager, a member of EHSQ Director’s team who on behalf of the BNFL Board of Directors ensured that BNFL Values were maintained during a transition period of unprecedented change. He developed a new scrutiny process for assurance of BNFL’s subsidiaries and organised and participated in director level assurance visits to the subsidiaries and their sites in the UK.

Head of Management Systems, BNFL Environmental Services, as quality function head, responsible for Quality Strategy for business of 2,000 site licence company staff on 5 nuclear sites in process of being decommissioned. Introduction of a common management system structure across all sites and functions facilitating rationalisation and LRQA certification to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Quality Manager, Magnox & Hex Business Unit, Lead Team member responsible for the management system and QA for business of approximately 800 staff which manufactured uranium hexafluoride for sale in the global market and Magnox fuel for the UK’s reactor fleet. Delivered supplier ISO 9001 audit programme. Maintenance of certification to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Managed Patrol Inspection Team and led shop-floor improvement projects.

Quality Manager, LWR Business Unit, responsible for QA systems, internal surveillance supplier audits, customer liaison - all QA aspects of Light Water Reactor nuclear fuel supply for Sizewell B and VVER 440 development. This role had a large international dimension with suppliers in Sweden, USA and Czech Republic and customers in UK, Finland, and Hungary. Audit leader for multi-party (BNFL, Finnish Utility (IVO) and Finnish Regulator (STUK) supplier audits.

Earlier roles included managing the Magnox fuel component supply chain and managing the AGR fuel inspection team and interaction with recipient reactor sites.

Mr Underwood gained a Durham University BSc Honours Degree in Engineering Science, is a Fellow of the Chartered Quality Institute (FCQI) and a Chartered Quality Practitioner (CQP).

He was a founder member, Secretary, then Chair of the CQI’s Nuclear Special Interest Group (a professional peer group for Quality professionals in the nuclear sector). He was the technical advisor to the UK’s National Skills Academy Nuclear for the establishment of the national nuclear quality competency framework

Areas of Expertise

  • Fuel manufacturing technical oversight
  • Manufacturing quality surveillance (QS)
  • NQA-1 Lead Auditor services
  • QA program audits
  • QA program implementing procedures