Nuclear AMRC welcomes “most pro-nuclear election in a generation”

By 20 June 2024 June 25th, 2024 Comment

As we pass the halfway point of the UK’s 2024 general election and all major parties have launched their manifestos, James Silverward, Nuclear AMRC government & regional engagement manager, reflects on what this indicates for industry.

James Silverward
In what may be the most pro-nuclear election in a generation, parties across the political spectrum have clearly recognised the value that the civil nuclear sector provides to the country not only in economic growth and jobs, but also in delivering on priorities in energy security and decarbonisation which have become much more pronounced since Britain last went to the polls in 2019.

In addition to wider commitments on enhancing the UK’s energy security, the manifestos of the Labour and Conservative parties have jointly committed to investing in both gigawatt-scale reactors and small modular reactors (SMRs) across the country, as well as each making their own commitments to the prioritisation of a power station development in Wylfa and an extension to the lifespan of existing plants .

Both parties have also committed to the UK’s nuclear deterrent, a sentiment which reflects continued support for an estimated 42,000 jobs and a supply chain of over 3,000 businesses.

Whatever the outcome of the election, the incoming government needs to prioritise working with industry at all levels to understand how it can deliver these ambitious plans and how the sector can move quickly enough to meet such demand.

Our own experience in the East Midlands shows how it is possible to link manufacturing innovation, supply chain development, skills, and policy to deliver long-term benefits to the UK. Indeed, the recent publication of the National Nuclear Strategic Plan for Skills demonstrates how this can be taken to a national level – but we need to do the same to address the other major challenges faced by the industry and work with the new government to drive delivery of a clear plan that can meet our national objectives.

The UK’s advanced manufacturing sector is ambitious and driven, and Government needs to match this drive and ambition if the UK is to continue its development as a global leader in nuclear energy. Whether in nuclear new build, fusion energy, or the wider sector, our industry must be enabled to continue its development and meet the needs of future generations. The Nuclear AMRC is ready to support the incoming government to achieve these ambitious goals.