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Tue, 27 October 2020

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Cut emissions, create jobs, build nuclear

Cut emissions, create jobs, build nuclear

Credit: NIA

Tom Greatrex | Nuclear Industry Association

3 min read Partner content

The nuclear industry will create highly skilled and long-term jobs, and provide a powerful foundation on which to meet our climate goals.

The Prime Minister has put his finger on what we need to do to revive the British economy after the pandemic: invest in green infrastructure that cuts emissions and creates good jobs across the country.

New nuclear capacity fits the bill exactly: our industry will create highly skilled and long-term jobs, and provide a powerful foundation on which to meet our climate goals.

All without compromising on economic growth.

Nuclear stations have saved more than one billion tonnes of carbon emissions in the UK – the equivalent of all our carbon emissions in the last three years. At the same time, they sustain almost 60,000 jobs, with a Gross Value Added per worker of £100,000.

The construction of Hinkley Point C shows how our climate and jobs goals go hand in hand: the project will generate up to 25,000 jobs throughout construction, and once operational will save at least 600 million tonnes of carbon over its lifetime.

No industry generates such highly skilled, better paid, and more secure jobs than the nuclear industry, and no other source of electricity has saved as much carbon.

The nuclear sector is primed for investment, driving job growth not just on station sites, but across a supply chain from Scotland to Somerset.

There are large-scale nuclear projects ready to go, like Sizewell C in Suffolk, that can support thousands more jobs.

That means a huge economic boost to local people and local businesses, but it does not stop there. It means more opportunities for the thousands of nuclear workers in Warrington, and hundreds in the Tees Valley working on hi-tech components.

It means more orders for Welsh steel factories and more work for nuclear engineers in Workington.

Further opportunities beckon at a Clean Energy Hub in Moorside, Cumbria, while innovative Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) could unlock further sites for development.

Already in Oxfordshire, world-class British science employs 2,000 of our best and brightest in nuclear fusion research.

Nuclear workers are some of the most productive, dedicated, and innovative in the country.

There are currently 60,000 of them, but if we back them now, there could be 300,000 by 2050.

Nuclear power, alongside other low-carbon technologies, will help secure our net zero ambitions, but will also preserve and enhance the UK’s outstanding engineering, manufacturing and construction skills base and provide employment, apprenticeships and new skills for thousands of people.

With the upcoming Energy White Paper and National Infrastructure Strategy, net zero will change from a target to an action plan.

The opportunities are there for us, our children and grandchildren, and now is to the time to seize them.

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