A Nuclear South West cluster was among the organisations promoting opportunities within the region at the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris between 26 and 28 June. This grouping included the South West Nuclear Hub, Nuclear South West, Heart of the South West LEP, National College for Nuclear, SC Innovation and the Hinkley Supply Chain programme.
On day two of the exhibition the organisation was joined by West of England Mayor Tim Bowles, and partners from the Heart of the South West, West of England and GFirst Local Enterprise Partnerships, to present the comprehensive breadth and depth of opportunities available within the region.
Mr Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “Our region is providing thousands of people with the skills and experience they need to access opportunities within the industry. These facilities are rewriting the training manual and will deliver training for more than 7,000 people by 2020. We have the capability to deliver an important part of the government’s growth ambitions, which will unlock huge opportunities for the entire region.”
Partnership with French Nuclear Cluster
Whilst at the exhibition Nuclear South West and Nucleopolis signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between the two clusters. This was the centrepiece of a networking breakfast and tour of the French Suppliers Pavilion on the third day.
Nucleopolis represents nuclear companies in the Normandy region of Northern France and is part of Normandie Energies.
WNE Award Nominations
At the end of the first day of the exhibition there was an awards ceremony, in which the cluster had two entries.
First, the J-Value Rating Service developed at the University of Bristol was nominated in the Nuclear Safety category. This research provides a logical, objective and easily understood metric for assessing nuclear safety systems. It aims to counter the suspicion of conventional cost-benefit analysis applied to nuclear plants that is widespread amongst public, politicians and the media alike.
Secondly the Hinkley Point Supply Chain Programme was nominated in the Innovation category for delivering value through a new approach to supply chain development.
Nuclear Sector Deal
The Nuclear Sector Deal was also announced during WNE which gave a great opportunity for the cluster to further promote the UK nuclear industry.
The central pillars of the announcement were:
- new £200 million Nuclear Sector Deal to secure the UK’s diverse energy mix and drive down the costs of nuclear energy meaning cheaper energy bills for customers
- includes £32 million boost from government and industry to kick-start new advanced manufacturing programme including R&D investment to develop potential world-leading nuclear technologies like advanced modular reactors
- a commitment to increasing gender diversity with a target of 40% women working in the civil nuclear sector by 2030
The cluster were able to celebrate this news and were featured in the WNE Tribune newpaper that was circulated to all visitors on Day Three.