Nuclear boost for region’s industry

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Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement that work is to start on the first of a new generation of nuclear power station has been welcomed by the Sheffield City Region advanced manufacturing sector.

French-owned EDF Energy and its Chinese partners agreed to build the £16 billion plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset after being promised a price around double the current market rate for electricity produced at the site.

Hopes are that further deals will follow that could accelerate construction of Rolls-Royce’s Project PoWeR development on the Advanced Manufacturing Park, close to the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Mike Tynan, chief executive of the Nuclear AMRC, said the Prime Minister’s announcement was a significant milestone in the development of new nuclear power stations in the UK.

“Utilities, developers and investors need confidence in both long term cost and revenue profiles for making a final investment decision, and I’m sure that this announcement will be welcomed by everyone involved in UK new nuclear build,” he added.

Martin McKervey from the Sheffield office of law firm Nabarro called on local companies take advantage of the Nuclear AMRC’s Fit4Nuclear programme, which helps companies meet global nuclear sector standards.

“The obvious question is how much of the supply chain is going to be in the UK and, more importantly for this city region, how many local companies are going to avail themselves of the opportunities,” said Mr McKervey.

Vince Middleton, chairman of Newburgh Engineering, which has gained the Fit4Nuclear standard, urged manufacturers, building groups and logistics firms to target nuclear opportunities.