Hinkley Point is undoubtedly one of the most disputed in terms of infrastructure projects in the UK for decades. The £18bn nuclear power station to
Hinkley Point is undoubtedly one of the most disputed in terms of infrastructure projects in the UK for decades.
The £18bn nuclear power station to be built in Somerset has been lauded by trade unions and governments in France and China as a result of the potential economic advantages. However, it hasn’t been plain sailing.
A petition signed by 30,000 people against the project has been handed over to Downing Street and there are concerns that Theresa May just signed off a needless and expensive project that will haunt the British populace for years.
So What Does It Mean For Nuclear Jobs In The UK?
Rolls Royce says that the new mini-nuclear projects can open up to 40,000 highly skilled job vacancies in the UK directly and indirectly. Morson Group, specialists in nuclear jobs resourcing agree. Mark Johnstone, a representative of the company says “Post-Brexit, we have seen lots of fears about job opportunities for people in the nuclear sector who may have to navigate longer red tapes to take up positions in Europe and other continents. With the new project, we expect a shortfall to develop instead. Professionals in the UK nuclear will benefit immensely over the next few years and we could be the ones exporting jobs in the next few months”.
Whilst this looks like good news on the surface, some experts are already calling for trainings and re-trainings to ensure that the UK has the manpower to handle the project in order to cut down exported jobs and reduce capital flight.
Why Does The UK Need A New Nuclear Plant?
Hinkley Point will cater for 7% of the UK’s power demands, which will provide enough electricity for more than 5 million homes. The project will not only create jobs but also help the UK to meet commitments for greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The nuclear plan will also play a pivotal role in plugging electricity production gap after all coal-fired generation systems are closed by 2025 and older reactors shut down.
UK consumers will pay for the project over a period of 30 years once completed but until then, the financial risk is with French Utility, the company building the plant. It is widely expected that the project will go ahead as scheduled and should be completed by the 2025 launch date.
Even though the wider economics of the Hinkley Point deal remains unclear, the deal is a major boost for the UK economy at this point in time. At a time when the post-Brexit politics still rages on, the project sets the tone for the country’s economy. It shows that the UK is confident, outward-looking and determined to function as a super power outside of the EU. Add the electricity revenue and the project is fully justified.