Expert new report highlights huge opportunities at home and abroad for UK nuclear sector

The atomic reactor hall at a  British nuclear power station
The atomic reactor hall at the Torness nuclear power station near Edinburgh

The next 10 years will be critical for the British nuclear supply chain if it is to increase capacity and capability to meet the demands of the new nuclear build programme and the industry’s developers.

This is according to a new report published today from EY, Creating confident investors and competitive advantage for the UK nuclear supply chain.

The nuclear new build programme offers a significant opportunity for the UK supply chain to demonstrate capability and realise economic benefit.

The Government estimates investment of more than £45 billion will be needed to develop the first three nuclear power plants at Hinkley Point C, Wylfa Newydd and Moorside.

Furthermore, the potential for new opportunities, such as SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) or international nuclear activities, provide an opportunity to upskill and increase the capacity of the UK nuclear supply chain.

Chris Lewis, EY’s UK & Ireland Infrastructure Lead, commented: “This report calls for clarity on the need for nuclear power in our energy mix, and commitment between Government and Industry to invest in the UK capability. 

“For the UK’s nuclear supply chain to capitalise on these opportunities, the industry needs to provide the pivot from an uncertain outlook. We need a model where the supply chain has the confidence from a clear pipeline of new build contracts, a unified industry championing the UK’s expertise and credentials, and investors are motivated and clear on the domestic and export opportunities.”

David Roxby, who focuses on energy strategy at EY, added: “Decommissioning is a huge global growth sector, and the UK supply chain has a head start as we are tackling bigger issues earlier than many other countries.

“It is at the heart of British industrial strategy: how to convert bespoke, specialist technical skills, with high public sector reliance, into an outward facing, world-leading sector, with capabilities across multiple industries as we shift from one generation of energy infrastructure to the next.

“Converting that into a winning capability and internationally competitive business model is a huge prize and a significant challenge.”

20 Nov 2017


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