To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the (a) training and (b) expertise of engineers to (i) design, (ii) commission and (iii) operate the range of pressurised water reactor nuclear power plants proposed for construction in the UK.
Last year the Government commissioned Cogent, the Sector Skills Council for Nuclear, to produce the ‘Next Generation: Skills for New Build Nuclear’ report looking at the impact of industry's plans to develop new build nuclear on the nuclear workforce.
The report identified that there were some skills that were at particularly high risk of not being available to meet the needs of industry plans to deliver 16GW by 2025. These included design and manufacturing engineers.
The report identified a series of mitigating actions to address these gaps and DECC co-ordinates the Nuclear Energy Skills Alliance (made up of the chief executives of the key skills bodies responsible for delivery) to monitor and review progress in addressing these issues.
As part of the licensing and permitting regime for UK Nuclear sites, operators are required to demonstrate to the Regulators that only suitably qualified and experienced persons perform duties which may affect the safety of operations.