Britain’s first nuclear power plants in a generation: What does this mean for engineers?

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by Rebekah Valero-Lee on

The first UK nuclear power plants in a generation have been proposed, but where are they, who owns them and what do they mean for nuclear engineers?

Over the next 10 years, the nuclear industry will be evolving. Three major projects have been proposed in sites across the UK, bringing large-scale employment to the nuclear, construction and engineering industries.

Currently, there are 15 reactors in the UK which generate over 20% of the country’s electricity, but this percentage will reduce with the government plan to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025. The aim of the new projects is to satisfy demand in the UK – to “keep Britain’s lights on”, whilst reducing the country’s carbon emissions in line with targets set by the Committee on Climate Change.

Depending on which project begins first, Britain will see its first nuclear power plant built in 20 years, bringing job opportunities to a new generation.

Moorside Nuclear Project

Moorside, proposed by Nugen – a joint venture between Toshiba’s Westinghouse and ENGIE – will be the UK’s largest nuclear power station, and Europe’s largest new construction plan. Three AP1000 reactors will supply enough low-carbon electricity to power approximately 6 million homes, which is around 7% of the country’s total electricity demand. The site, located at Sellafield, Cumbria, is expected to produce electricity by 2025. Currently, the project is in its development stage, with a final investment decision being made in 2018.

Moorside could create between 14,000 and 21,000 jobs across all areas of the project, with 5,000 available during the construction stage and 500 permanent roles when the plant is operational.

Hinkley Point C

EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C, located in Somerset, will generate 3.2GW of low-carbon electricity for 60 years, creating over 20,000 jobs in the area and offering re-development of surrounding sites. Two EPR™ reactors will provide electricity to approximately 5 million homes, whilst £100 million will be invested into the regional economy during peak construction.  Hinkley Point C is expected to generate electricity by spring 2026.

Wylfa Newydd

Horizon, owned by Hitachi, have proposed a low-carbon nuclear power plant in Wylfa, on the Isle of Anglesey. This will be situated on an already operational nuclear power plant, owned by Magnox. Two Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) will be built, generating 2,700MW of electricity. Wylfa Newydd could see the generation of up to 1,000 permanent jobs and a construction workforce of 4,000 – with the potential to reach 8,500 during peak times.  This project is expected to be operational during the early 2020s.

The above proposed projects will bring thousands of jobs to a new generation and change Britain’s nuclear outlook for years to come.

Interested in a career in nuclear? Speak to our consultants for advice on roles or take a look at the latest nuclear power plant jobs available right now.


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Maintenance Engineer

Morson Talent are currently recruiting for a Maintenance Engineer on an initial 12 months FTC basis (Likely to be perm for the right candidate) in the Manchester area. Location Manchester Salary £37,000 + 20% uplift for occasional shift work Hours Days based - Occasional cover shift work (6-2 / 2-10) The Person: * NVQ 3 or above in Engineering ESSENTIAL * Multiskilled - Mechanically / Electrically biased * Various backgrounds considered: Manufacturing, Automotive, Food, Distribution Centres, Automated Warehouse, Recycling, Biomass, Packaging or Printing, Chemical Plant, Brewery, Paper, Manufacturing Plant, Electromechanical / Automated Plant. * Health and safety focused, good awareness and a can do attitude. Desirable: * Bottling, material handling, AGV's, stackers, palletisers * Pneumatics, hydraulics The Job: * Assist with breakdowns maintenance and reliability of electromechanical machinery, equipment, and plant. * Maintenance of various sections of the plant - PPM and fault finding * Monitor production process & machinery performance. * Assist with PPM & breakdown. * Continuous improvement If you are interested in a new opportunity and would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact me directly on 07739311930 or reply with an updated CV.

System Engineer

A Systems Engineer contractor is sought for a contract in Stevenage, Hertfordshire for a SATELLITE DIGITAL PROCESSOR SYSTEM ENGINEER position.Our client seek an expert in digital signal processor design and validation to join the design team responsible for the secure telecommand and telemetry system for a military communication satellite.The role requires an all-round grasp of the digital system, which includes both cryptographic and modem equipment, and its hardware implementation in order to support both system analyses and commissioning of prototype hardware. KEY SKILLS / PROVEN ABILITYProven Ability in any or all of the following topics will be valuable -Failure mode and related system analyses: FMEA / FMECA, single event effects and security analysis;Cryptographic processing and associated security functions;Modem functions (modulation and coding);Implementation of reliable digital signal processing hardware;FPGA-based prototyping and debugging;End-to-end RF communication systems testingSector knowledge: Space / Aerospace / Defence / Communications ADDITIONALTravel - Occasional travel to other UK sitesBase of Work - Following a familiarisation period on site this role will be working from home then working on site once COVID restrictions are lifted by the client - candidates must be able to work on site full time when required

Composite Technician - Aerospace Panels

Morson are currently looking for experienced composite technicians for our client for roles based in Stevenage.Job Profile Assembly and final assembly of sandwich aluminium composite panel production. Inclusive of: - Potting of inserts Bonding of various brackets and equipment Film adhesives Panel completion General hot and cold bonding processes Drilling, reaming etc. High tolerance requirements (typically better than 0.05mm in various areas). Experience Essential:- Ability to work from detailed drawings and electronic work instructions - within specific procedures Experience working to procedures with checkpoints/quality gates Previous experience such as mechanical fitter, close tolerance sheet metal worker, time served mechanical technician Experience in industries such as Space/Aerospace/Automotive/Motorsport etc. Ability to work in confined spaces above floor level Desirable:- Knowledge of satellite structure assemblies or similar Modern apprenticeship Clean room experience Shifts Weekly rotating double day shifts - 06:00hrs to 14:00 hrs 14:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs Some weekend working Saturday or Sunday may be required at peak times. Other There will be a skills test at interview The successful candidate will be required to pass BPSS security clearance before confirmation of contract offer. Free parking is provided for this role in a municipal car park located approximately fifteen minutes' walk from site.

Warehouse Operative

Warehouse operative Principal Responsibilities Health and safety: Must ensure that safe working practices as stipulated by the company are adhered to at all times. Undertake any relevant HSE training as required. Picking: Accurately collect parts from various locations within the warehouse without introducing errors. Packing: To consolidate picked goods in a secure manner for direct shipment to external/internal customers. 100% double check on picked items to achieve very high accuracy levels. Dispatch: Consolidate packages on the relevant pallet and prepare for collection, i.e. pallet wrapping / loading into carrier cages. Goods Inwards: Check deliveries for damage and check against the delivery note to ensure that we have received the correct quantities of the correct products. Using Rf scanners Communication: On a day-to-day basis communication between various departments is normal. Responsibility for dealing with day-to-day enquiries in a friendly yet professional manner applies to all logistics staff. Operation of a Powered industrial truck is desirable if operator holds licence and is authorised. Other key links & experience areas Customer Services Manufacturing/Goods In Carriers/Couriers ISC Office Please note that these roles are currently part time hours from 4pm - 8pm.

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