The UK’s nuclear industry is experiencing a remarkable surge in employment, with the nuclear workforce reaching its highest level in over two decades, according to the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA)’s annual Jobs Map.
The sector now boasts 77,413 employees across the country, marking a significant 20% year-on-year increase.
However, the NIA warns that the nation must prepare to train a substantial number of additional workers to meet the government’s ambitious target of achieving 24GW of nuclear power by 2050.
Hinkley Point C in Somerset stands out as a major contributor, employing 9,500 individuals at Europe’s largest construction site, up from 8,000 in the previous year.
Advancements in advanced nuclear technology have played a pivotal role in job creation, with Rolls-Royce leading the way by developing its Small Modular Reactor (SMR) in Derby and Warrington.
Over 530 positions have been established, including 200 since the previous year, and the deployment of Rolls-Royce SMRs could potentially lead to the creation of an additional 6,000 jobs.
Minister for Nuclear, Andrew Bowie, said: “From the government’s backing of new plants at Hinkley and Sizewell to the launch of Great British Nuclear to spearhead new technologies, the UK is witnessing a nuclear revival.
“These projects will be at the heart of our efforts to deliver clean, reliable and secure home-grown energy sources, boosting our security and cutting our carbon emissions – and all while helping grow the economy and create jobs.”
Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the NIA, said: “The nuclear industry already sustains tens of thousands of high-skilled, well-paid jobs which make a significant contribution to UK energy security and our net zero future.
“We can have lots more of these jobs and opportunities for the next generation if we get on with committing to new projects, both large and small reactors, for more secure, reliable and home-grown power.”