UK nuclear new build report

30 March 2006

UK trade group the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) has released a new report on the UK capability to deliver a new nuclear build programme.

The report finds that companies in the UK nuclear industry have the capability to provide over 80% of the scope of new nuclear power station projects if the on-going government energy review concludes that new nuclear build should be part of the UK’s future energy mix. However, the report adds that even with additional investment, key components such as reactor pressure vessels, turbines and generators would need to be imported.

The study, undertaken by representatives of major providers of plant, equipment and construction services, is based on a detailed analysis of over 60 ‘packages’ of work required for a new pressurised water reactor (PWR). It examined the UK supply chain and identified gaps in the provision of specialist equipment where either investment would have to take place to revive a UK capability, or the equipment would have to be imported.

The study concludes that much of the engineering and construction work on a new nuclear power plant is not nuclear related but similar to work being carried out by many companies on major projects throughout the UK. Therefore, the UK nuclear supply chain could currently supply over 70% of a new nuclear plant, and with investment in resources and facilities, this proportion could be increased to over 80%.

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