2015 Skills: The nuclear skills and technology management gap and how it should and can be closed

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Abstract

This paper starts by discussing the emerging skills gap predicted by Government and other significant organisations (e.g. the Nuclear Industry Association) in formal reports and presentations. It then goes on to discuss the growing “age gap” and the challenge that brings. Government and nuclear industry reports have been indicating a future skills and technology management gap. Anecdotal evidence suggests that opportunities for graduates are set to outstrip supply as nuclear new build edges closer to realizing the five stations planned already. Sources of capability and potential capability are to be found in new graduates from a wide range of disciplines: for example: mechanical, civil, aerospace and chemical engineering and chemistry, physics and materials graduates. There are also mid-career engineers and scientists who can transfer from other sectors, such as aerospace, oil and gas and automotive industries, and there are experienced nuclear sector engineers and scientists, including engineers currently working in the decommissioning fleet and defence sector. The defence sector has, of course been and continues to build nuclear power units. In the decommissioning field, the UK has a significant capability in nuclear science, engineering and management skills. As nuclear new build starts to express its inevitable demand for skills, the decommissioning workforce will be a rich source of nuclear expertise. The authors are aware that the decommissioning segment of the industry is concerned about the impact that this will begin to have fairly soon now.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-63
Number of pages5
JournalNuclear Future
Volume11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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