According to the London-based NIA’s annual Jobs Map, 59,584 people are employed in the civil nuclear sector across the UK, a slight increase on 2019.
All parts of the industry, including generation, new-build, decommissioning and research and development, have sustained operations throughout the disruptions of Covid-19. Thousands of workers in the existing fleet across Scotland and England have ensured that no station has had to stop producing power because of the pandemic, and Hunterston B has been able to restart generation, underscoring the resilience of the sector, the NIA said.
Hinkley Point C, where two new EPR plants are under construction at an estimated cost of £21.5bn to £22.5bn, employs around 4,500 people on site, and more than 600 apprentices have been trained on the project. Other new build projects in the pipeline, including Sizewell C and Wylfa Newydd, are planned to be on a similar scale.
The NIA said the nuclear industry remains critical to regional economic development, with more than 24,000 people employed in the North West in decommissioning, fuel cycle research, reactor design and other disciplines. In the South West, the sector employs more than 12,000 people, and more than £1.6bn has been spent across the region from the Hinkley Point C project.
The UK’s nuclear research expertise sees more than 1,700 people employed at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy in Oxfordshire, and others employed in modular reactor design at sites around the country.