Industry supports 825 jobs across Wales, new data shows
New projects at Wylfa and Trawsfynydd would boost jobs and skills base
Nuclear jobs are skilled and green and could helping Wales reach net zero
New data shows that the number of people working in the civil nuclear sector in Wales has risen slightly, but new projects could bring tens of thousands of new jobs to Wales.
According to the Nuclear Industry Association’s annual Jobs Map report, 825 people work in the sector across Wales, a 3% increase on last year’s total, but below the 20% increase seen in England.
Wales is home to two world-class nuclear sites in Wylfa and Trawsfynydd, and green lighting new projects at these sites would create significant employment. Wylfa on Anglesey remains one of the best sites in Europe for new nuclear reactors and a new power station at the site would generate thousands of jobs during construction and nearly a thousand during operation, making it the island’s biggest employer.
More than 200 people work at Trawsfynydd, with the site primed for a first of a kind Small Modular Reactor (SMR). Cwmni Egino, the Welsh Government’s development company, is exploring the economic benefits of having an SMR on the site.
Securing projects at these sites is vital to strengthening Wales’s energy security and to clean up electricity generation in the country. The South Wales power grid routinely has the highest carbon intensity of all the regions in Britain. North Wales has more renewable energy capacity, but lacks a backbone of clean, weather-proof power to stabilise the grid.
Welsh companies are also playing an integral part in the construction of the UK’s next new power station at Hinkley Point C in the South West of England. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of Welsh steel is being used to construct the station and hundreds of Welsh workers are involved with the project.
The station has around 9,500 workers on its site in Somerset, and plays a vital role in creating jobs in the South West. The region saw the biggest year on year increase in jobs numbers, with a 60% jump in 2023 compared to 2022, the data shows.
Case Study – Lee Jones, Health and Safety Lead, Hinkey Point C: “I commute from Neath and feel proud to be part of the large Welsh contingent on site. For me, this has been an invaluable opportunity to learn from the best, with top contractors from around Britain and around the world working together every day.”
Case Study Wylfa, Mark Saunderson, Head of Operations, Wylfa (Magnox): “After leaving school I was fortunate enough to gain a mechanical trade apprenticeship that put me onto the career path to where I am today, 31 years later, as the head of operations at Wylfa. I am proud to have worked at the Wylfa site as we moved from generation to defuelling and now decommissioning. Working in the nuclear industry is an opportunity for anyone to learn new skills and build a fantastic career”.
Reacting to the Wales Jobs Map figures, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said:
“Nuclear can and should play a vital role in Wales’s clean energy future. It has the potential to sustain tens of thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs, providing low-carbon power and energy security for communities up and down the country.
“Wales can have more of these jobs and opportunities for the next generation if we get on with building new large scale and small reactors at Wylfa and Trawsfynydd, alongside other clean energy projects. Wales has the people and the know-how to be a global nuclear energy hub.”
Liz Saville-Roberts MP, Dwyfor Meirionydd, said:
“Nuclear sector jobs have long been a significant provider of well-paid high quality employment in my constituency of Dwyfor Meirionnydd and north west Wales as a whole.
“In an area which otherwise suffers from low salaries, it is fantastic news to learn that nuclear industry jobs have increased by 3% in Wales over the last year.
“These exciting opportunities offer the chance to make a tangible difference in the challenge to develop technologies which serve the twin purpose of reducing carbon emissions and providing affordable energy.”
Virginia Crosbie MP, Ynys Môn said:
“Nuclear projects in England have created jobs for Welsh workers and business for Welsh companies, and it’s time that we brought those home to Wales.
“We have the best site for nuclear and the best people, and we are ready to start building. A new project at Wylfa would transform the prospects of so many young people on the island and make us a clean energy powerhouse for the whole country. We’ve got to fight for that.”
Notes to editors:
- Access the 2023 Jobs Map here.
- The Jobs Map is made up of participating NIA members
- The UK has five generating nuclear power stations, providing around 15% of the country’s electricity from 5.9 GW of capacity. All but one are scheduled to retire by 2028.
- Hartlepool and Heysham 1 are scheduled to retire by March 2026, and Heysham 2 and Torness are scheduled to retire by March 2028.
- Hinkley Point C, the only new nuclear power station under construction in the UK, is due to begin generating in 2027.
- Nuclear has saved the UK 2.3 billion tonnes of carbon emissions, far more than any other source. The saving is equivalent to all UK emissions from 2015 through 2020.
About the Nuclear Industry Association
As the trade association for the civil nuclear industry in the UK, the Nuclear Industry Association represents more than 250 companies across the UK’s nuclear supply chain.
For further information, please contact:
+44 7517 108023