National Nuclear Laboratory


Tuesday 16 June 2015

NNL’s Dr Keith Franklin awarded MBE

NNL is delighted to announce that Keith Franklin, currently on secondment to the British Embassy in Tokyo, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. The honour means that Keith is now a Member of the Order of the British Empire. Since he was seconded from NNL to Japan in 2011 after the Fukushima Dai-ichi accident, Keith has held the position of First Secretary (Nuclear) at the Embassy. His award is for “services to UK/Japan relations in the field of nuclear energy”. Prior his move to Japan, Keith held the position of Business Leader in the Reactor Chemistry and Materials area, based at NNL’s Stonehouse office in Gloucestershire. He had previously spent time in Japan between 1999 and 2001, while working for BNFL, when he was posted to the then Japan Atomic Research Institute (now JAEA) in Ibaraki prefecture, carrying out research on the properties of molten salts. Keith said:

“I was astonished to hear that I was to receive this award – but obviously I was also delighted and honoured too. If the links between the nuclear industries in the two countries, particularly in nuclear decommissioning, are working successfully, then it’s down to the help and support of countless colleagues in both nations, not just me. I’m also grateful to my employer, NNL, for the chance to take up this unique and tremendously varied posting at a very challenging time for the nuclear industry in Japan.”

NNL’s Managing Director, Paul Howarth, commented:

“This honour for Keith is tremendously well-deserved. He responded very quickly and positively after the events in Fukushima to help provide support the UK presence in Tokyo, and throughout his secondment to the Embassy he has provided a vital link between Japan and the whole UK nuclear sector, not just NNL. He’s played a pivotal part in the success of many visits to the country – right up to Prime Ministerial level – and the insights and help he has provided have been very valuable to the nuclear industries in both countries.”

Keith, a native of Fife, went to Inverkeithing High School, and graduated with a PhD in Chemistry from Edinburgh University. He joined BNFL in 1996 after completing a two-year post doctoral position at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. He is a former Chairman of the British Zeolite Association. Keith has a passion for sport and is a fanatical Dunfermline Athletic supporter and shareholder. He is also a keen cricketer and has captained the British Embassy Cricket Team in Japan’s National Competition (the “Japan Cup”). He used his interest in cricket to support and draw attention to the recovery of the area around the Fukushima-Dai-ichi site by organising a cricket match against a local team in Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture, which gained international media coverage and secured a mention in the 2014 edition of the cricket almanac Wisden. Keith also has a keen interest in theatre and comedy, and has twice appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe. Many congratulations to Keith on this tremendous achievement.