The North of England is essential to the UK’s next-generation nuclear energy opportunities and as a consequence, its journey towards reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
That’s the suggestion from a delegation of more than 50 senior business, academic and local government stakeholders led by the NP11, a group of the North’s 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and the North West Nuclear Arc consortium.
The group claims the Northern Powerhouse needs further investment and policy support in order to harness the “immense opportunity” for the region to harness a ‘new wave of low carbon next-generation nuclear energy’.
It notes this would also allow the region to cement its position as a “global centre of excellence for decommissioning” and states it would have a wide range of transformative socio-economic impacts, including securing high-value jobs in remote coastal communities, establishing the North of England as a world-leader in Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology and safeguarding a reliable source of energy that can be used to decarbonise the energy system.
David Levene, Strategic Coordinator at NP11, said: “The Northern Powerhouse is home to more than 75% of the UK nuclear industry’s workforce and almost half of country’s nuclear energy is produced here. It is truly the core of our nuclear sector.
“From the splitting of the atom in Manchester, through the establishment of the first civil nuclear plant at Calder Hall, we have an illustrious history in groundbreaking atomic innovation. That past has paved the way for us to collectively seize the opportunity presented by a new wave of next-generation nuclear technology that is altogether safer, more efficient and more sustainable.”