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New research finds nuclear industry employs nearly 60,000 people across the UK

19/09/2019
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The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) has released new research this week which shows that nearly 60,000 people are employed in the civil nuclear sector across the UK, equivalent to the aerospace manufacturing industry.
New research finds nuclear industry employs nearly 60,000 people across the UK
(Image via NDA).

Based on a survey of its members the Nuclear Industry Association’s research indicates a spread of highly skilled employment across the UK in a variety of sub-sectors such as power station construction and operations, manufacturing, decommissioning, research and development, waste management and nuclear fuel.

The research reveals that the UK’s nuclear industry also supports nearly 2,000 apprentices and over 900 graduates.

Areas of particularly high levels of nuclear industry employment include South West England, South West Scotland, East Lothian and Caithness, North West Wales, the Greater Manchester area, Cumbria, Oxfordshire, Kent and Suffolk.

Commenting the on the results of the research, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the NIA, said:

“Our detailed survey of members shows consistent employment levels between 55,000 and 65,000 over the past 5 years spread across the UK in both urban and rural regions. The nuclear sector is a great example of how it’s possible to create widespread jobs and prosperity whilst contributing to the 2050 carbon reduction target. Net zero need not mean economic pain.”

“As we progress the decommissioning of our old power stations, the development of a new fleet is critical to ensure growth of clean power and the economy. This will require proven large-scale nuclear reactors, but we are also in a better position than ever to progress small modular designs and looking ahead, the development of fusion technology.”

Nuclear energy currently provides around 19.5% of the UK’s electricity (the second highest share after gas and the highest percentage of low carbon electricity), and as the UK seeks to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, organisations such as the NIA are highlighting the need for more nuclear generation capacity – and with it, more trained workers.

“The focus on a zero-carbon economy is creating excitement and interest in the nuclear industry for a new workforce coming into the sector via apprenticeships and graduate schemes, but it’s critical we establish the conditions for further new nuclear power station projects quickly to maintain this momentum,” says Greatrex.

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New research finds nuclear industry employs nearly 60,000 people across the UK - Time to read 3 min
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