New report: nuclear could boost skills and economy in East of England
MPs, Lords and business leaders from the East of England were today able to see for themselves the economic boost delivered from building a new nuclear power station.
They met suppliers and apprentices in Westminster as EDF Energy launched a new report detailing the training, skills, jobs and local contracts made possible by the construction of its Hinkley Point C power station in Somerset. EDF Energy is already at work with business and education groups in the east to repeat the success story at the proposed Sizewell C and Bradwell B power stations.
The report shows that almost 200 apprentices have already started careers at Hinkley Point C after an intensive schools programme and investment in training facilities. The investment helped them consider careers in science, maths and engineering and give them the right support and training. The report also shows that more than £465m of contracts have been awarded in the south-west and that a third of employment opportunities are due to be filled by local people.
One supplier at today’s Westminster event shows that firms from the east are already benefitting. Ovivo from Colchester won a £27m contract to make the cooling water filter system at Hinkley Point C.
John Dugmore, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive said: “Today’s event shows how new nuclear can support the regional economy and can give a long-lasting boost to regional and local businesses.
“There are more than 1,100 businesses registered on the Sizewell C supply chain database. Firms like Poundfield in Stowmarket which is already supplying the Hinkley Point C project. These businesses are showing they want to get involved in the project, they want new nuclear in the region, they want the certainty it brings and the investment it enables them to make in their business.”
Jim Crawford, Sizewell C project development director, said: “Nuclear has a bigger impact on jobs and skills than any other technology - especially compared to importing energy. We are determined to use that impact to leave a positive legacy and today’s report shows that we are delivering on our promises.
“I have lived and worked in Suffolk for many years and I know that the region has the capability and drive to make the most of the new nuclear opportunity to develop skills, education and business. We are working with bodies like the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce to get region fit for nuclear so local businesses can have the same success as those in Somerset.
“Bradwell B in Essex would follow the Sizewell project – multiplying the positive effect on people and the economy from Sizewell B and C.”
From the very early days of planning for Hinkley Point C, the Supply Chain team, together with the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, has been looking for opportunities to support local businesses to collaborate. The Sizewell C team is now doing the same with Suffolk Chamber of Commerce.
Business in the South-West that are working at Hinkley Point C range from heavy engineering firms to catering, transport and construction site maintenance.
Local businesses have been helped to join forces to win multi-million pound contracts. It’s how businesses such as The Somerset Larder were formed. The Somerset Larder’s ‘Field to Fork’ approach grew from the early desire of a group of local businesses to supply locally sourced food and ingredients to Hinkley Point C’s workforce.
Somerset butcher Malcolm Pyne, one of the founding members of the Somerset Larder now employs 50 people. Speaking at today’s event, he, said: “Hinkley Point C has without question given me the confidence to grow the business. I would have never done that out of the normal retail arm of our business. The impact it has had on the business has been phenomenal.”
Notes to editors
• Sizewell C benefits from being the second new nuclear power station using EPR technology in the UK which is already under construction.
• The infrastructure is ready - Sizewell C National Grid connections in place.
• The supply chain is ready - Hinkley Point C has restarted the nuclear industry and we now have a mature supply chain with the experience ready to deliver more nuclear power stations.
• The developers are ready – EDF and CGN have the experience and expertise to deliver – EDF is a world leader in nuclear energy and CGN has 20 stations in operation and 9 under construction.
• The station is affordable - Sizewell C will be significantly cheaper than any other baseload generation in the pipeline – Hinkley has paid the costs of being first of a kind in the UK, allowing Sizewell C to now reap the benefits.
• Sizewell C will create huge economic opportunities in the East of England – more than other low carbon options offer – 25,000 construction jobs at peak and 900 highly skilled jobs when operational.
• Sizewell C will bring a massive rise in skills in the region and we are working with local education providers on the delivery plan.
• The EPR is a tried and well tested technology - Sizewell C will be the seventh and eighth EPRs to be built in the world. Taishan in China is due to begin operation in 2018, Olkiuoto in 2019, Flamanville 3 has completed cold testing and Hinkley Point C is under construction.
• The public consultation process is advanced with two out of three stages successfully completed.
• UK plc needs new nuclear to provide the stable, long term baseload electricity alongside renewables and gas.
China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) and EDF Energy, long-term industrial partners, are together intending to develop a new nuclear power station at Bradwell-on-Sea, Maldon in Essex.
In January 2017, CGN and EDF Energy began a process called the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) for the UKHPR1000 nuclear reactor. This process is independently controlled by the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency. It ensures that the design of new nuclear power stations proposed to be built in the UK meet high standards of safety, security, environmental protection and waste management. The project is currently at Step2 of the four step regulatory process. The targeted timescale for the UK HPR1000 GDA process is approximately five years from the start of Step 1.
A website has been set up to publish information on the HPR1000 nuclear reactor design that is currently undergoing assessment by the UK nuclear regulators – the Office for Nuclear Regulation and the Environment Agency. www.ukhpr1000.co.uk
CGN and EDF Energy are currently in the process of carrying out technical assessment work in order to inform their emerging proposals.
In the future CGN and EDF Energy will be conducting extensive consultation with various stakeholders – including the local community, local authorities, and statutory consultees – as the plans are progressed.