Press Releases

Nuclear power sector employs nearly 60,000 across UK – Industry Association Latest Figures

18 September 2019

The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) released new figures today which show nearly 60,000 people are employed in the civil nuclear sector across the UK, equivalent to the aerospace manufacturing industry, based on a survey of its members.

This includes nearly 2,000 apprenticeships and over 900 graduates.

The Civil Nuclear Industry Jobs Map indicates a spread of highly skilled employment across the UK in power station construction and operations, manufacturing, decommissioning, research and development, waste management and nuclear fuel.

Employment hotspots are located in South West Scotland, South West England, East Lothian and Caithness, North West Wales, the Greater Manchester area, Cumbria, Oxfordshire, Kent and Suffolk.

Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the NIA said:

“Our detailed survey of members shows consistent employment levels between 55,000 and 65,000 over the past 5 years spread across the UK in both urban and rural regions.  The nuclear sector is a great example of how it’s possible to create widespread jobs and prosperity whilst contributing to the 2050 carbon reduction target.  Net zero need not mean economic pain.

“As we progress the decommissioning of our old power stations, the development of a new fleet is critical to ensure growth of clean power and the economy. This will require proven large-scale nuclear reactors but we are also in a better position than ever to progress small modular designs and looking ahead, the development of fusion technology.”

Greatrex said there is a limited window of opportunity to develop a pipeline of skilled workers which has to be seized now.

“The focus on a zero carbon economy is creating excitement and interest in the nuclear industry for a new workforce coming into the sector via apprenticeships and graduate schemes, but it’s critical we establish the conditions for further new nuclear power station projects quickly to maintain this momentum.  The new financing method, currently out to consultation, can bring down costs to the consumer and attract investors and we need to move quickly to flesh out the detail.”

Facts and figures:

NIA Members Employ:

  • 59,419 people
  • 12,141 women in civil nuclear (with a target to reach 40% female employment by 2030)
  • 1,986 people on apprenticeships
  • 914 people on graduate schemes

Nuclear energy currently provides 19.5% of the UK’s electricity (BEIS, 2019 Digest of UK Energy Statistics), the second highest share after gas and the highest percentage of low carbon electricity

Click here to view the Jobs Map
#Rediscovernuclear here
Follow the NIA on Twitter @NIAUK and LinkedIn

For further information, please contact:
Hartley Butler George
Media and Communications Manager, Nuclear Industry Association