When the government announced its intentions to press ahead with nuclear power, detractors and supporters agreed on one thing: the number of skilled
With much of the current workforce joining the sector in the 1960s and 70s, a large number of workers are now approaching retirement, and with a number of our power stations either going through or approaching decommissioning, the
The Institute’s Centre for Nuclear Energy Technology (C-NET) joins Imperial College’s £6.1m KNOO (keeping the nuclear option open) program, and its backers claim that it will help supply the industry with a new generation of science, engineering and technology graduates.
There’s a lot at stake – the new build market is estimated to be worth tens of billions of pounds and British industry shouldn’t miss the opportunity to capitalise on the huge opportunities on offer.
But in order to be truly successful, these schemes must tread a careful line between the past, present and future. In the short term, what the nuclear industry will really need is skilled operators for running and maintaining the next generation of nuclear reactors (most of which are likely to be built and developed by other countries). In the longer term however, the programmes must have an eye on the future. They must, for instance, ensure, that the
Assuming that initiatives such as C-NET and KNOO do help rebuild the
Writing last year in The Engineer, Dr Stuart Parkinson, the director of the pressure group Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR), argued that a renewed focus on nuclear engineering could have a negative effect on the burgeoning renewables sector – with the muscle of the nuclear industry filtering the
Jon Excell, Features editor