Cumbria Nuclear News & Views – A Trip to London

Reblog from Nuclear Industry – Cumbria Matters

Another Friday is upon us and I find myself feeling some what tired after the very well attended NI / NIA Dinner of last night. For those of you who didn’t have an opportunity to attend it was a night which had a warm buzz around the room. People were there to network and everyone was chatting freely and were full of welcoming smiles! I was very tempted by the upstairs dance floor and my very welcoming host Jon Taylor of RLB was trying to tempt me to dance but I did have to point out that most of the music that was being played was music from before I was even born!

Yesterday was the Energy Choices conference which unfortunately I didn’t attend, but I have obviously researched what was said so I can share this with you. It was announced that the British nuclear industry is on the verge of its renaissance, although many challenges remain now and for the future.
EDF are leading the push to build new nuclear reactors in the UK to replace old units built by the state that are nearing retirement. EDF’s Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson said the company was “on the verge of a momentous decision” – the final investment decision to build an Areva EPR at Hinkley Point C, which would come at the earliest possible date after EDF makes “a compelling case for investors.” Shareholders in the project would be EDF with 75% and Centrica with 25%.

EDF is also still seeking “clarity for legal protection based on the power set out in the [recently published energy bill],” said Cadoux-Hudson, as well as terms covering political risk and long-term stability. Given these, he said, EDF “stands ready to deliver the UK’s first nuclear power plant in more than two decades.”
Michael Fallon said, “Building new nuclear is not easy anywhere at any time… but new nuclear in the UK will happen and we are close now to seeing it happen. It’ll happen because we need the security and low-carbon energy that nuclear can provide.”
“Let me assure you of this: Nuclear will be delivered,” Fallon declared to the industry crowd.
Both Horizon Nuclear Power and NuGeneration also plan to build new power plants in the period to 2025, but success for EDF’s Hinkley Point project is seen as key to unlocking a realistic probability of several new reactor projects for the country.

What I find interesting about the EDF and Centrica partnership is it has been highly reported that Centrica are pulling out of the UK Nuclear Industry so where would that leave the project? However last night I was speaking to a lovely chap from Centrica who is involved in the project. He explained that a final investment decision was still to be made but the “pulling out” story is all speculation.

I was delighted to hear the announcement that 500 new jobs are to be created at Sellafield Ltd and that the recruitment process will begin immediately. Managing Director Todd Wright said: “We are delivering our mission of accelerating safe and efficient clean-up. Because of the progress we are making and the efficiencies we have achieved, we are now able to focus even more funding on acceleration of work, and this new influx of staff will mean we are able to do more work, more quickly.

“The workforce at Sellafield is the best I’ve worked with in my career, which takes in many nuclear sites around the world and these new additions will include some of our nuclear leaders of tomorrow – I’m very proud that this announcement has been made.”

Not only will creating these 500 jobs accelerate the decommissioning of the site but it has been stated that the vast majority of the 500 roles are likely to be filled locally. This is excellent news for West Cumbria and if they are looking for people outside of the nuclear industry it will bring in a number of fresh ideas and different mindsets to the site which will generate new ideas and innovation. The vacancies cover a wide array of disciplines including operations, craft and maintenance personnel as well as some more specialist safety and technical positions. The 500 figure includes 50 local apprentices who will join the company after completing their training at GEN II and a further 50 graduates from Sellafield Ltd’s long established graduate recruitment program.

On the same note as above I was interested to read a tweet this morning, now I don’t know if it is fact as it wasn’t from the official Sellafield channels but it stated that the breakdown of staff employed direct by Sellafield came from the following areas: Copeland 70% Allerdale 25% Rest county 3% Out County 2%. I have to say they are impressive statistics and I know we grumble as the supply chain that Sellafield doesn’t put the work out to local or small companies but their commitment to employing local people is unquestionable.

Also announced and given out at the conference was the “Essential Guide to Nuclear Supply Chain” which has been published for companies looking to get involved in the burgeoning civil nuclear market.

The report, launched by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) with backing from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Lloyd’s Register and leading nuclear companies contains a step-by-step guide to getting involved in the growing sector.

The Essential Guide is aimed at companies new to nuclear or looking to break-in to the sector and details guidance on a huge range of issues including the opportunities, routes to market, technical codes and quality standards expected of new entrants into the nuclear industry.

The report has been deemed as a must read for BDM’s throughout the UK. It is apparently easy to read and is full of practical advice. I haven’t yet been able to get my hands on it nor have I been able to view it on line – Ipads and Flash player an Ipad users biggest gripe! So if any of you have a copy you could share with me it would be much appreciated.

Not Cumbria, but I was interested to read the NDA press release regarding the announcement of bidders who have passed the pre-qual stage for the Magnox and RSRL PBO.
The organisations are:
Bechtel / URS
The Babcock Fluor Partnership
CAS Restoration Partnership (CH2MHill, Areva and Serco)

Of course some of the companies may still partner and the final configuration of the consortia must be confirmed by 14th December. I have heard on the grapevine that ES may be rejoining with Bechtel and URS but they will be expected to take a smaller share. So now we know who is bidding us smaller companies need to start building relationships with these guys and looking at the services we could give them in support of their bid and delivery of the PBO.

The Britain’s Energy Coast-backed mission to South Korea and Japan has been reported to have “opened up real opportunities” for companies in West Cumbria’s world-class nuclear industry, according to its chairman Brian Wilson. BEC led a delegation of 12 West Cumbrian companies as part of a wider UK trade mission to South Korean and Japan in a bid to support the globalisation of the area’s nuclear expertise. The companies made up the majority of a packed five–day mission of briefings and presentations in Seoul and Tokyo arranged by UK Trade & Investment in partnership with BEC and the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA). It built on recent visits to Japan by senior officials from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Sellafield Ltd that set out the nature of expertise in West Cumbria that could be beneficial in tackling the challenges faced in the Far East.
In Korea the mission met 37 companies including Korea Electric Power Corporation, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, Samsung C&T Corporation and Hyundai Heavy Industries and witnessed the historic signing of an MOU between the NIA and Korea Atomic Industry Forum, which promised closer co-operation between the two countries in the nuclear industry. In Japan companies had the chance to network with more than 40 businesses including major players such as Tokyo Electric Power Company, Hitachi, Toshiba and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and attended a reception staged at the British Embassy.
From what I have heard this was a really beneficial trip and there has been some real interest in the West Cumbrian supply chain companies which is excellent news for us all.

I had a very interesting meeting regarding ISA earlier this week and I have to say I was impressed by the manner in which the team seem committed to ensuring ISA feeds the whole supply chain especially local companies. It seems to be a refreshing approach and I can’t help holding out a little hope that this is going to be a framework that really will feed the supply chain.

I appreciate this is not nuclear but I feel it is important to comment on the excellent news that came on Saturday that Malcolm Wilson of M-Sport has managed to secure a new deal with the State of Qatar to financially back his team to enable them to run 3 Ford Fiesta RS cars in the WRC next season. The deal saved 100 local jobs but unfortunately loosing the Ford funding did lead to 18 job cuts. This is great news for me personally as my partner works as an Engineer for M-Sport and I would hate to see him sent back to Holland!

Finally I am currently collecting data for my 2013 Nuclear Salary Survey. This proved extremely popular when I compiled the last one with many senior people within the industry using the survey as a benchmark for their companies own pay scales. The only way I can make the survey effective is by people sharing information with me so could I ask you to provide the following information:
Job Title – Salary – Package – Location North or South (including Birmingham)
If you are able to offer a few salary bandings within your organisation that would be most helpful.
Could I please ask you to email this information to me putting in the subject line “salary survey” Obviously all information is held in confidence and as a contributor you will receive a completed copy of the survey in the New Year.

Well that is another week complete. I just want to say thank you for all the emails I have received in support of my blog. Your kind words and encouragement keep me driven, passionate and enthusiastic about the industry, and as long as you keep reading I will keep writing.

Until next time…..

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