New industrial strategy is good news for UK nuclear

Posted on 13 Sep 2012 by The Manufacturer

Westinghouse Electric Company today expressed its approval for the Government’s new industrial strategy and the backing it will give to nuclear manufacturing in the UK.

Speaking at a media event today, Westinghouse Electric Company’s Mark Tynan, CEO of Westinghouse UK and vice president – UK, Middle East, Egypt, told press that the announcement of a new industrial strategy by government confirmed a positive approach to building advanced manufacturing capabilities in general.

Mr Tynan also stated that the announcements made by Business Secretary Vince Cable on Tuesday September 11, just skimmed the surface of the commitment being made by government to address the role of nuclear power in the UK’s future energy mix.

“Nuclear is an important subset of the bigger industrial strategy,” Tynan confirmed. “A focused Nuclear Industrial Strategy will be confirmed before Christmas.”

With regards to what has already been announced, Tynan said that it consolidated the value of two major initiatives already underway to build a pipeline of skilled individuals for civil nuclear new build and decommissioning.

“The establishment of a National Skills Academy for Nuclear has been a huge help. I was a founding director of this initiative and am still on the board,” remarked Tynan.

“Another invaluable move was the establishment of the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Sheffield where Westinghouse was also a founding member.”

Mr Tynan said that these initiatives, backed by the new industrial policy, will finally realise the “holistic view which is needed for the lifetime nuclear programmes.”

Explaining further he said, “You must understand that the children starting primary school today will be the grandparents of the people who decommission our new build plants. That requires quite a unique skills strategy.”

Westinghouse president and COO, Ric Pérez , who was also present at today’s event, assured, assured press that the UK remained, “a fundamental building block in our business,” despite the disruptions and delays caused to UK nuclear strategy by the Fukushima disaster and the abandonment of the Horizon programme by E.ON and RWE.

Explaining the opportunities for UK manufacturers to benefit from Westinghouse’s investment plans in the UK, Mr Pérez said that, although “core passive safety sytsems” for it AP1000 reactors are standardised – largely manufactured by suppliers in Korea, Japan and China – “commercial grade systems” will be locally sourced.