James Cairns

Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) & Radioactive Waste Adviser (RWA)

James joined Aurora in 2011 as a well-respected RPA/RWA offering an invaluable wealth of advice to his clients and the Aurora team.


After graduating from the University of St Andrews with a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology and further MScs in Radiation Physics from the University of St Andrews and University of Surrey, James went to work for the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston first as a site RPA and then as part of the National Nuclear Security Division.

It was whilst working at AWE in 2000 that James became focused on radiological terrorism and was appointed the first RPA for the UK police service some 6 months before 9/11.  In 2006, he was at the forefront of the Alexander Litvinenko case providing support and advice to senior police officers and civil servants and has since gone on to present at several international conferences on radiological terrorism.

James is the current Laboratory Manager for Aurora’s analytical services capability at the Harwell site.


  • Fellow of the Society for Radiological Protection
  • Certificate of Competence, Radiation Protection Adviser
  • Certificate of Competence, Radioactive Waste Adviser
  • NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety
  • Experienced in Nuclear Security & Radiological Terrorism
  • Experienced in radiation protection from NORM in the Oil and Gas Industry
  • Experienced in the development of training methodologies and the search & detection of radiological material
  • Experienced in the remediation of NORM contaminated land


James is heavily involved in his local Scout group as the group’s Quartermaster and Beaver Scout Leader and runs the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme in his local village.