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Our People

Chris Carter - Reactor Systems Commissioning Manager

Chris Carter - Reactor Systems Commissioning Manager
Chris Carter

Chris is the Reactor Commissioning Manager for Boat 3. He manages a team of more than 30 skilled engineers who work day and night, 365 days a year to transform the submarine’s nuclear reactor plant from ‘cold iron’ into a tested, commissioned and operational plant that can develop enough power to supply a small city.

He started his career as a graduate trainee in 2006 and has been working on Artful since 2007 when it first arrived in the Devonshire Dock Hall as a collection of hollow cylinders. He graduated as a mechanical engineer and moved into his current role to get more hands-on experience in the build process.

The Astute class programme is, for me, one of, if not the most impressive engineering project going on in the world today. I know that when I talk to my friends from university and people who graduated in engineering at the same time as I did, I’ve certainly got the bragging rights of having the most impressive job and working with the most interesting technology.

Chris Carter - Reactor Systems Commissioning Manager

Chris said: “My team is responsible for the extremely thorough testing process of the nuclear reactors that power Astute class submarines.

“We provide an around-the-clock presence to ensure every single pipe, cable and system in the reactor is checked, inspected, tested, flushed and functional. Then, when we’re satisfied it is safe, we permit it to be fuelled before going through the whole operational testing process again. Only when we're sure that we've tested and verified everything that we possibly can, we withdraw the control rods and allow the nuclear chain reaction to provide energy to the boat for the first time - the final milestone before it can be sent out to sea.

“We have to follow extremely strict safety procedures to ensure the plant is safe, the people working nearby are not in danger and no damage is caused to the submarine.

“It’s exciting working with such impressive technology and interesting people.”

Chris is originally from Chorley, Lancashire. In his spare time he enjoys exploring the Lake District and has recently taken up horse riding with his girlfriend.