Industry report predicts tens of thousands of new jobs in Wales if nuclear projects get green light
A new report has shown a small increase in the number of people working in the civil nuclear sector in Wales but predicts new projects could create tens of thousands of new jobs.
According to the Nuclear Industry Association’s annual Jobs Map report, 825 people currently work in the sector across Wales, a 3% increase on last year total, but well below the 20% increase seen in England.
Wales is home to two former nuclear power plants in Wylfa and Trawsfynydd, and both sites have been mentioned as possible sites for the new generation of Small Modular Reactors (SMR).
Wylfa on Anglesey is ranked as 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 currently work at Trawsfynydd, where Cwmni Egino, the Welsh Government’s development company, is exploring the economic benefits of having an SMR on the site.
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.”
The Nuclear Industry Association argues that 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.
Liz Saville-Roberts MP, Dwyfor Meirionnydd & Nuclear APPG Vice Chair 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 & Nuclear APPG Vice Chair added: “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.”
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