Parliamentary Committee calls for more joined-up thinking on SMRs

The APPG for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs), which Barndoor Strategy provides the Secretariat for, has today called for more joined-up thinking on SMRs.

This follows the APPG SMRs round table event held this week at Westminster where developers and others from the industry discussed the opportunities and challenges for nuclear in North Wales.

Attendees at the round table included north Wales MPs Liz Saville Roberts MP (Dwyfor Meironnydd), Robin Millar MP (Aberconwy) industry representatives from Welsh developers Cwmni Egino the Nuclear Industry Association, Rolls-Royce SMR, Terrestrial Energy and Debbie Jones, Low Carbon Innovation Manager at Menai Science Park.

The SMR APPG has been established by MPs and Peers to better inform parliamentarians about the potential for SMR technology.  The cross-party group has been meeting with potential SMR vendors such as Rolls-Royce SMR to examine the nuclear technology being proposed.

The Chair of the APPG on SMRs, Virginia Crosbie MP, commented

“We heard about how much progress has already been made in delivering nuclear for North Wales a sector which already employs 700 people.  However, now that reactor designs are undergoing approval and funding mechanisms are in place there is a need for joined-up thinking in terms of the skills and workforce needed.

“Firms such as Rolls-Royce SMR and Terrestrial Energy offer a huge potential to provide large quantities of secure green energy.  Rolls-Royce SMR predict that their programme will create 40,000 regional jobs and £52bn in economic benefit by 2050.  SMR technology could help decarbonise electricity and make Anglesey and North Wales a centre of the global effort to fight climate change.  This has huge potential to bring well paid work into Wales’ Welsh speaking heartlands securing the future of those communities and the Welsh language itself.

“The new nuclear plants on Anglesey and at Trawsfynydd will need a trained workforce both during their construction and operation.  By comparison with other projects Hinckley Point C has trained 922 apprentices on its project to date.  This will mean well paid-jobs for many local people.  However, this workforce will need to be trained and this training needs to start now.  Many of those who will operate the fleet of new SMR nuclear plants are still at school or university.  Government and industry need to do more to train this workforce so that the skills and the people are ready and in place.”