Frederic Wheeler, Head of Regulatory Support Directorate, Jacobs
Frederic Wheeler was appointed as Head of the Regulatory Support Directorate within Jacobs in April 2020. He replaced Peter Moore who has led RSD since it joined ETSON.
Frederic has over 35 years’ experience in the nuclear and rail industries assessing and justifying high-risk activities through the preparation and review of safety cases.
He started his career in the UK Atomic Energy Authority within a group focused on the independent review of the UK nuclear submarine programme, taking part in the assessments of new designs with a particular emphasis on developing probabilistic safety assessments. As the naval programme passed the design and build phase he moved to projects focused on a wider selection of reactor types within the civil nuclear industry.
In the 1990s the UK embarked on a wide ranging privatisation of its rail industry. To support it individuals from the nuclear industry were seconded in to support the development of a safety case approach to the demonstration of safety, and safety approval and regulation process were aligned with the nuclear industry. Frederic spent many years involved in a wide range of major rail projects and in support to the railway safety authorities from signaling, track to trains and infrastructure. However, in 2005 he returned to the nuclear sector again supporting a number of projects and clients and taking on management responsibilities.
Since 2005, Frederic has carried out independent reviews of significant UK nuclear projects, carried out independent safety assessments and delivered consultancy. This led to providing support to the UK Generic Design Assessment (GDA) programme for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactor where he was the Jacobs Lead Engineer, supporting Westinghouse and interfacing extensively with the UK regulator.
As the AP1000 completed its GDA process he followed the design to NuGen, the prospective licensee, as the lead Engineer for the Nuclear Island with its Design Authority. Unfortunately, NuGen ceased to exist in 2018 and so he returned to Jacobs. While his experience is varied, it is characterized by delivering either safety cases or their independent review, principally in the UK naval and civil nuclear industries. As Head of RSD, he manages support to the Office for Nuclear Regulation, the UK statutory regulator, and to the Defence Nuclear Safety Regulator.
The UK’s departure from the European Union means that Jacobs’ membership status within ETSON. has changed from a full member to an associate member. However, both ETSON and RSD have agreed that RSD can remain fully involved in the activities of ETSON as it remains a UK Technical Safety Organisation.