By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com
According to a new report by PwC, building multiple nuclear reactors in the UK with a single technology could almost double the level of UK supplied parts and labour generated to support the nuclear industry.
Orders for four or more reactors of a single technology would be a ‘game changer’ for many supply chain companies according to companies interviewed for the report, with the volume of work lowering barriers of entry for companies in the supply chain, and justifying investments in new facilities, skill enhancement and nuclear training.
Depending on the scale of the new build programme, the report estimates that a fleet approach could employ up to 15,000 additional people at the peak of the build programme in 2022, to meet the demand for UK support to the new nuclear programme. This could generate additional economic value in terms of goods and services of £1.6bn in 2022.
“The fleet effect: the economic benefits for the UK in adopting a fleet approach to nuclear new build”explores scenarios whereby investors in the UK’s new nuclear programme would build between four and eight reactors relying on the same technologies, built at regular intervals in the period to 2030. The study, commissioned by Areva, and independently researched and written by PwC, examined the direct and indirect impacts of a fleet approach in terms of both jobs and GDP.
The report concludes that the benefits of a fleet approach needed to be underpinned by a clear industrial strategy that incentivises localisation in the UK through the supply chain, allowing the proportion of work undertaken in the UK to increase significantly. For non – UK suppliers, greater volume and certainty in the UK, would increase the viability of transferring manufacturing operations in to the country.