Academics highlight nuclear jobs potential for northern England

Northern England could become a world leader in nuclear energy development and manufacturing, according to a study released by the University of Manchester.

The report says that the northern regions could see the creation 10,000 new jobs in the nuclear industry and secure many more in manufacturing and professional services by targeting nuclear investment.

It calls for the formation of a "cluster" of nuclear industries in the north to encourage collaboration between companies already operating in the field and associated sectors such as aerospace and oil and gas.

A UK nuclear supply chain needs to be set up within the next 18 months to put firms in position to win business when the UK’s nuclear new build programme gets under way later this decade, the authors argue.

The study was carried out by the university’s Dalton Nuclear Institute and the Manchester Business School, with input from the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre. It was originally commissioned by the Northern Way, the joint initiative between three north of England regional development agencies that went out of business in April.

"The UK government and nuclear industry are faced with a choice – to do nothing and possibly watch the UK nuclear supply chain lose business and economic growth opportunities to overseas-based firms, or to develop a national policy to coordinate the development of the nuclear supply chain and position UK businesses for economic growth here and overseas," said Peter Storey, professor of nuclear regulation at the university.

Northern Way Nuclear Supply Chain Development is available here.

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