Union hails new link in UK nuclear supply chain

Union hails new link in UK nuclear supply chain

The announcement of a £170m government-supported deal for a nuclear manufacturing facility in Sheffield has been warmly welcomed by Prospect.

“This deal, in which Westinghouse Electric is also investing, adds a new and vital link to the UK nuclear supply chain,” said Michael Macdonald, Prospect negotiator in Yorkshire. “It will help pave the way for three generations’ worth of high-quality new jobs at each site where new nuclear build is planned.

“Not only is it great news for local job security, but workers at Sheffield Forgemasters will be making a vital product to support new nuclear build in the UK, as well as the global market. This deal provides yet more evidence that new build will bring jobs into the UK supply chain.”

The next key steps towards new nuclear build becoming a reality are the completion of the generic design assessment process by the Health and Safety Executive Nuclear Directorate; planning processes; and finalising the consortia and teams who will build the UK’s new power stations.

Macdonald said: “Each new site will provide an estimated 500 operational jobs for the next 65 years, as well as additional jobs in the construction and decommissioning phases.”

The deal – between the government, the European Investment Bank, engineering firm Sheffield Forgemasters and Westinghouse Electric UK – is for a 15,000-tonne press to make pressure vessels and castings for nuclear reactors. Up to now these are only made in Japan.

It follows an announcement of a £25m centrally funded nuclear engineering skills facility to co-ordinate work on new materials and components in Rotherham; and an even more announcement of a new Centre for Nuclear Energy Technology at Manchester University.