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Report reveals job creation potential of nuclear power

Posted by: Andrew Willmitt
02/10/2017
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A new joint report from the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has claimed that approximately 200,000 job-years of employment are created by each 1,000MWe of nuclear capacity constructed.
The report- Measuring employment generated by the nuclear power sector- provides figures based on both direct and indirect employment
The report, Measuring Employment Generated by the Nuclear Power Sector, used a combination of top-down and bottom-up approaches to create a methodology that can be applied to all electricity sources.

Here are some of the stand-out figures from the report:

  • During site preparation and construction of a typical 1,000MWe reactor there are about 12,000 job-years during construction.
  • During 50 years of operation, annually there are about 600 administrative, operation and maintenance, and permanently contracted staff- or about 30,000 job-years during operation.
  • During the decommissioning period, there are about 500 employees annually over a period of ten years, equating to about 5,000 direct job-years.
  • For about 40 years, there are approximately 80 employees managing radioactive waste which accounts for around 3,000 direct job-years.
  • In total, the authors state that this puts direct employment from a 1,000MWe nuclear reactor at about 50,000 direct job-years per GWe.

The report also examines the indirect job years that are created by nuclear reactors. For example, indirect employment in the nuclear supply chain creates 50,000 job-years. Adding in other associated jobs adds up to another 100,000 job-years which leads to an overall total of 200,000 job-years of employment from a 1,000MWe nuclear reactor.

Geoffrey Rothwell of the Nuclear Energy Agency claimed that the report made a compelling case for investment in nuclear power as a means of job creation:

“Now is the time to employ short-term and long-term under employed workers in building infrastructure. Nuclear power provides high-skilled, high-pay construction and supply chain jobs to lower unemployment rates and increase average wages.”

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