2012 was brought to a close with the NIA’s Energy Choices conference in London. The event was extremely well attended with over 300 NIA members, several journalists and numerous industry representatives all present.
Standout speakers included Energy Minister, John Hayes and Business and Enterprise Minister, Michael Fallon who both spoke in praise of the industry as they announced the Government’s Nuclear Supply Chain Action Plan.
Explaining the Action Plan, Michael Fallon, Business Minister, said: “This action plan is an important part of our work with industry to shape a vibrant UK nuclear industry, and to ensure the UK exploits the commercial opportunities that exist, and is a leading player in the expanding global nuclear market.”
In addition John Hayes announced the creation of 500 skilled jobs at the Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria. These roles include operations and maintenance staff, engineers, and project managers.
Along with the launch of the NIA’s eagerly anticipated capability report, updates were given by EDF Energy, NuGeneration Ltd. and Horizon Nuclear Power including a Q&A session with Hitachi. There were panel discussions about innovation in nuclear, skills and the supply chain, public confidence and dealing with legacy waste.
Another highlight of the conference was the ‘in conversation’ session with Dr Tim Stone CBE. Interviewed by Lord Hutton, he spoke in some detail about the highlights and lowlights of the past few years. He described nuclear as a ‘sound investment’ but he insisted that there are still challenges to overcome with the need to constantly evolve and improve the industry.