Nuclear event heralds jobs boost for Gloucestershire

Nuclear event heralds jobs boost for Gloucestershire

Prospect has brought together key stakeholders to promote the importance of the nuclear industry in Gloucestershire – because of the jobs it provides today, new skills opportunities and its role in a carbon-free future.

The nuclear sector already provides major benefits for local businesses and other stakeholders. Alongside existing work in decommissioning and generation, a site at Oldbury B has been approved for new nuclear build and new-build operator Horizon Nuclear Power, a joint venture between E.ON and RWE npower, has set up a Gloucestershire headquarters.

Meeting at the Berkeley decommissioning site, leading industry figures, the local Stroud MP and Prospect staff and representatives discussed the potential for attracting new employers and creating new jobs in the nuclear and related industries. Together they have contributed to a new booklet, ‘The case for the civil nuclear industry in Gloucestershire’.

Mike Clancy, Prospect Deputy General Secretary, said: “Gloucestershire already employs more than 2,500 skilled nuclear workers, many of them our members. We have a good relationship with employers in this industry and are delighted to forge a partnership with them and local MPs to promote a low-carbon future providing high-quality jobs. These are jobs for apprentices, graduates and future generations of Gloucestershire’s young people.

“Building a new nuclear power station at Oldbury will provide an estimated 5,000 construction jobs. Once up and running, it will create a further 650 long-term jobs lasting more than 60 years, as well as work for permanent contractors.”

Neil Carmichael, MP for Stroud, said the county had played a decisive part in the development of the nuclear power industry over the last 50 years. He added: “I welcome this initiative to build on that record. I am committed to the further development of a viable and significant nuclear sector in the county, bringing investment in technology, opportunities for small businesses and demand for highly skilled people.”

Alan Raymant, Chief Operating Officer at Horizon Nuclear Power, which plans to deliver around 6,000 MW of new nuclear capacity in the UK by 2025, said: “We are looking forward to working alongside the local supply chain, workforce, unions and politicians to help develop a new generation of nuclear expertise in Gloucestershire. We believe that our plans here can be a real example of energy working for Britain.”

Neil Baldwin, Magnox Ltd Managing Director, said: “In the UK we are entering an exciting time for nuclear as we safely decommission the first generation of reactors and install new generating capacity. The experience gained by business in Gloucestershire will be valuable both here in the UK and overseas as some 400 reactors worldwide come offline in the next 10-20 years, and new global capacity comes on line. It’s both a massive challenge and a great opportunity!”

Penny Wride, Chair of the Berkeley Site Stakeholder Group, said: “The name of Berkeley is at the forefront of safety, innovation and expertise. This is a core of people with the experience and skills to pass on to future generations and that should be built on.”

The county’s well-established nuclear sector includes Magnox Ltd, EDF/British Energy and a number of other suppliers.