New report shows progress two years on from Nuclear Sector Deal launch

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A new report unveils progress that has been made in two years since the Nuclear Sector Deal was launched, and goals for 2030 under the scheme.

The Nuclear Sector Deal was established in 2018 as a partnership between the UK Government and the nuclear industry, designed to ‘make nuclear power an integral part of the UK’s Net Zero energy future.’

Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of Nuclear Industry Association, commented: “The Nuclear Sector Deal provides an important framework for industry and policymakers to take real action towards Net Zero.

“As the Committee on Climate Change have shown, net zero means four times as much clean power as now for the UK to stop burning polluting fossil fuels.

“It is simply impossible to decarbonise power, heat and transport with wind and solar alone—and nuclear is the only proven source of firm low-carbon power in the UK.

“This industry is not only critical to net zero, but critical to regional economic development, as it employs 59,584 across the UK.

“We need swift action on commitments to protect these jobs and tap into nuclear’s vast potential to unlock a greener future for the UK.

“The Nuclear Sector Deal is working hard to make that vision a certainty.”

The initial focus of the Nuclear Sector Deal is to deliver the nuclear sector vision by 2030, generating ‘significant socioeconomic benefits’ and ensuring ‘greater long-term job opportunities, cleaner energy and a secure supply of nuclear energy for all.’

The Nuclear Sector Deal’s four key 2030 targets are:

  • 40% women in nuclear
  • 30% reduction in the cost of new build projects
  • savings of 20% in the cost of decommissioning compared with current estimates
  • up to £2 billion domestic and international contract wins

This report, two years into the 12-year programme, identifies a significant number of achievements, that will provide a foundation for the industry to deliver investment, jobs, and emissions reductions for the UK, as part of a green recovery and a Net Zero future.

Progress includes:

  • The launch of a number of programmes, such as the Nuclear Innovation Programme: Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Competition and the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to promote innovation in the sector. These initiatives will help unlock intellectual property and investment and increase opportunities for local suppliers.
  • A comprehensive analysis of the key factors that will reduce the costs of new nuclear power plants by 30% by 2030, as well as early indicators of progress in the construction of Hinkley Point C.
  • The publication of a Gender Roadmap in late 2019, outlining an increasing programme of interventions in the areas of attraction, retention, targeting and monitoring to improve industry diversity, starting with gender. 25 key organisations, including major employers in the civil and defence sectors, and hundreds of high-level individuals and personalities have formally pledged to reach 40% female workforce by 2030.
  • A National Decommissioning and Waste Management Pipeline for the UK, developed jointly by Government and industry (civil and defence) for the first time.
  • A plan to work jointly with the local and national supply chain programme is underway to allow new companies to support nuclear activities in the future, presenting the opportunity to introduce innovation and achieve more domestic contracts.