Harrison was appointed Chief Executive Officer of UKAEA in February 2007, having first joined the organisation in November 2003 as UKAEA's Director of Dounreay and a Member of the UKAEA Board. He was acting Chief Operating Officer of UKAEA from August 2006 until becoming CEO.
According to his biography:
- Following Government endorsement of a new business strategy for UKAEA, Norman successfully led UKAEA's transformation into a vibrant new British company winning work in the public and private sectors. In 2009 Norman led the sale of UKAEA to Babcock which, following the acquisition of VT Group later the same year, now employs over 6,000 highly qualified and experienced personnel in the defence and civil nuclear sectors.
Harrison resigned as a director of the UKAEA on 31 October 2009. 
His career before UKAEA was spent in the nuclear power generation sector. With British Energy (BE) he was Station Director at Heysham 1 in Lancashire before being appointed Director of Sizewell B which was BE's flagship pressurised water reactor power plant, the post he held prior to joining UKAEA.
Joining the PM on his 2012 Far East trade lobbying tour
In April 2012, Harrison joined UK prime minister David Cameron on his travels to Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia as part of a four-day tour of east and south-east Asia. He was travelling with a 40-strong delegation of business representatives to boost trade opportunities for the UK.  The group included six defence contractors, along with representatives from the Nuclear Industry Association, International Nuclear Services, the National Nuclear Laboratory, and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, as well as the government's Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington.  Cameron was pushing Britain's expertise in nuclear decommissioning, in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. As Cameron explained:
- Looking to the future, we want to continue to support the Japanese as they reconstruct the Tohoku region and tackle the challenges of the nuclear clean-up. British companies have significant expertise in nuclear decommissioning and clean-up, with 19 nuclear sites in the UK currently being managed through the process. I really think that concrete experience can be of direct benefit to Japan.' 
- Harrison is the industry expert of the Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board (NLFAB), which advises the Secretary of State on the adequacy of funding provisions for waste management and decommissioning of proposed new nuclear plant.
- Member of the Government's Ad Hoc Nuclear Research and Development Advisory Board 2012-13
- Nuclear Development Forum - attendee October 2011 and May 2012
- Independent Governor at the Manchester Metropolitan University.
- Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
- Nuclear Institute selects Babcock Director as new President, Babcock International Group website, Page last updated at 18 Jan 2011, acc 3 September 2012
- United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Annual Report and Accounts 2010/11, p.30
- Nicholas Watt, David Cameron seeks slice of Japanese defence contracts on Tokyo trip, The Guardian, Tuesday 10 April 2012, accessed 3 September 2012
- Prime Minister's Trip to South East Asia, delegation list
- 'Konichiwa Dave': Cameron flies flag for Britain as he arrives in Japan on first stop of South East Asian trade mission, Daily Mail, 10 April 2012 | UPDATED: 12:15 GMT, 10 April 2012
- ' Norman Harrison Appointed Chief Executive of UK Atomic Energy Authority', UKAEA website, 8 February 2007.