Norman Laurence Franklin CBE: 1979—1980
"Ned" Franklin was born in Leeds in September 1924 and educated at Batley Grammar School before graduating from the University of Leeds with 1st class honours in chemical engineering in 1945.
From 1945-1948 he worked for the British Coke Research Association (BCRA), and for the latter half of this period he was in charge of the Pontypridd High Temperature Carbonisation Test Plant, which was the subject of his MSc gained in 1948 when he had returned to the University of Leeds as an Assistant Lecturer. He later became Lecturer at the university and remained there until 1955. During this period he was consultant to the National Research Council USA (1950-1954) and to J Wilkinson & Sons, manufacturers of fluorides (1952), adviser to the Coal Tar Research Association (1953) and Statistical Adviser to BCRA (1953). He was awarded his PhD in 1952.
In 1955 Ned Franklin joined the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the following year moved into the Technical Policy Branch. In 1958 he spent a brief spell as Special Assistant to the Managing Director before progressing through a variety of roles within the organisation, including Technical Manager (Chapelcross), Chief Technical Officer (Reactor & Chemical Plant) Risley, Deputy Technical Director and later Technical Director Production Group. In 1962 he assumed responsibility for the Group's commercial activity when he was appointed Nuclear Fuel Director and this role also involved responsibility for technical support in providing fuel elements for Britain's 18 Magnox power reactors and those at Latina in Italy and Tokai Mura in Japan.
In 1964 he became Deputy Managing Director Production Group and in January 1968 was seconded to a new post at the Head Office of the UKAEA in London to assist the Chairman in co-ordinating matters concerning the structure of the nuclear industry. A year later he was appointed Board Member for Production with his responsibilities covering the complete nuclear fuel cycle from uranium ore through to reprocessing of the irradiated fuel and the treatment of storage of radioactive waste.
In 1971 the Production Group was segregated from the UKAEA to become British Nuclear Fuels Ltd and Ned Franklin was appointed Managing Director & Chief Executive, with responsibilities for the company's works at Springfields, Capenhurst and Windscale with Chapelcross. On the Board of BNFL he had the counsel of an IChemE Past President, Dick Morris, who was a non-executive director.
Four years later as the nuclear power station construction industry was rationalised, he accepted the position of Chairman & Managing Director of the Nuclear Power Company, the operating wing of the National Nuclear Corporation, of which he was a Director, and with it came responsibility for producing Britain's nuclear power reactors.
He was awarded an OBE in 1963, which was enhanced to CBE in 1975, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science in 1977 by the University of Leeds.
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