Nuclear Sector Makes Big Economic Contribution To The South West

A study commissioned by the Nuclear Industry Association reveals the economic impact of the industry, and highlights the employment and investment it brings to the South West region

A report by Oxford Economics for the Nuclear Industry Association (NiA) reveals the civil nuclear sector contributed £6.4bn to the UK economy in 2016, of which £1.6bn was generated in the South West. This is equivalent to the output of the aerospace manufacturing industry and accounts for 0.3% of UK GDP.

Economic Impact in the South West

The South West of England, home to the construction of the new power station at Hinkley Point C, as well as decommissioning sites and some of the existing generating fleet, sees the second largest economic impact behind the North West. With a second new-build power plant planned for Oldbury in South Gloucestershire this figure is likely to grow in the future.


Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said:

“The nature of the nuclear sector means it creates wealth and prosperity across the country – supporting families and non-nuclear businesses in areas where traditionally jobs have been hard to come by".

Significant Job Creating Industry


The nature of the sector means it provides a significant number of highly-skilled and highly-paid jobs. Across the income scale,the civil nuclear sector’s salaries far exceed UK averages, with a median salary fully twice as high as the equivalent figure for the UK economy as a whole.

In terms of the South West, there are decommissioning sites at Oldbury and Berkeley in South Gloucestershire, as well as research centres at Harwell in Oxfordshire and Winfrith in Dorset. In addition EDF Energy has its Hinkley C project HQ in Bristol and its main HQ in Gloucester. Many other big industry names such as Horizon Nuclear Power, Magnox, Atkins and Frazer-Nash Consultancy also have a significant presence in the region.

Career Paths For Graduates and Apprentices

The nuclear industry provides a range of training, from informal on-the-job training to apprenticeships and graduate schemes, which makes an important contribution to the UK’s productivity.

In the South West Bridgwater and Taunton College is the lead for the National College for Nuclear Southern Hub, which is linked to the South West Nuclear Hub. The College provides a range of Further Education and Apprenticeship opportunities which is the second largest provision in the country, as shown in the graphic below.

Higher Education provision is provided by the University of Bristol with the MSc Nuclear Science and Engineering programme which is in its third year of delivery.

Economic Activity Report

The Economic impact analysis of the UK’s civil nuclear sector was undertaken by Oxford Economics in May-June 2017.

The Nuclear Industry Association is the trade association and representative voice of Britain’s civil nuclear industry. It represents more than 260 companies including nuclear power station operators, new build developers and vendors, those engaged in decommissioning, waste management, all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, supply chain and consultancy companies.

The Nuclear Activity Report can be found at

Leave a Reply

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial