Leaders pledge to realise more value for nuclear communities

Scrabster harbour

Scrabster harbour

Academics, politicians and nuclear industry leaders attended the 2019 Westlakes Public Value Convention, hosted by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), which focused on public value and helping the industry achieve the greatest possible benefit for the communities in which we operate.

NDA’s Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, Paul Vallance, said:

We must serve and support our communities by maximising the outcomes we get from every single pound of taxpayers’ money we spend on addressing social challenges.

The nuclear industry is woven into the fabric of our communities, so it’s our responsibility to help spark people’s imagination and create an environment where anything is possible. I want that sense of innovation and entrepreneurship to grow bigger and last longer than our industry… that should be our legacy.

Nucleus, nuclear archive in Wick

Nucleus, nuclear archive in Wick

Around 54,000 people are employed (directly and indirectly) by the nuclear decommissioning industry, which is worth up to £2.7 billion to the UK economy annually. The Nuclear Sector Deal seeks to grow this highly skilled workforce, increasing and diversifying opportunities for the supply chain.

UCLAN’s Dr Rick Wylie explained how public value began and ended with the needs of the community. The NDA’s Nucleus nuclear archive – built close to Dounreay in Caithness, Scotland – was an example of a project that has made a significant contribution to the national economy and to the community of Caithness.

Rick added:

This convention draws upon the expertise of speakers from the UK and Europe and, with a keynote based upon UCLan’s research in this area, the convention will provide insights into public value for policy makers and professionals in nuclear and wider technology and infrastructure sectors.

Sellafield, the UK’s largest and most complex nuclear site, has the greatest socio-economic impact – with over 40,000 people employed as a result of the work at the site.

Sellafield’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Jamie Reed, said:

Our prime objective is to deliver the Sellafield mission safer, sooner and with the best possible return on the £2 billion of public money we spend each year.

Sellafield is changing, and this presents a defining moment of opportunity to unleash and secure the maximum public value from our activities. To do this we need new, longer-term and stronger relationships with our stakeholders, suppliers and communities. We also need to listen to and learn from one another.

Background information

NDA group businesses invested £10 million in 2017/18 in over 200 projects.

Find out more in our socio-economic report 2017 to 2018

Scrabster Harbour, close to the Dounreay nuclear site in the north of Scotland, is improving its capacity to receive cruise ships and vessels working in the offshore oil and gas industry.

A £1.1 million business incubator will be created in west Cumbria to grow a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Nucleus, a nuclear archive in Caithness has been built according to all relevant UK archive standards. With 2,000 people working in decommissioning, Caithness was selected as the region most likely to benefit. The closure of its major employer, Dounreay, is set to happen by 2030.

/Public Release. View in full here.