French, British regions unite for nuclear growth

07 August 2018

Economic development organisations in the South West of England and Normandy in northern France have agreed to collaborate in the creation of jobs, unlocking opportunities and attracting new investment in the nuclear sector within both regions.

The signing of the MoU by Serge Bouffard (left) of Normandie Energie and Andy Bates (right) of Nuclear South West (Image: Nuclear South West)

As part of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Nuclear South West and Nucleopolis, the organisations will share knowledge and opportunities in the nuclear industry and encourage their respective members to explore opportunities to work together. They aim to connect companies with GBP50 billion (USD65 billion) worth of nuclear investments in South West England and an annual market in Normandy worth more than GBP1 billion per year.

Nuclear South West - a partnership of industry, academic and public sector organisations - was set up in 2016 to champion the South West nuclear industry as the premier destination for investment, innovation and growth.

Nucleopolis is the nuclear division of Normandie Energies, the Norman energy mix cluster. It brings together the expertise of nearly 100 French organisations, covering research, industry and training, in the fields of energy, health and risk management. The nuclear sector employs around 28,000 people in Normandy.

"This agreement is hugely important to us as it helps build awareness of the South West as a destination for companies to invest in and do business with the nuclear supply chain," said Nuclear South West Chairman Matt Burley. "France is recognised as being one of the most advanced nuclear nations and Nucleopolis has a significant role to play in helping the industry to grow. We look forward to developing our relationship with Nucleopolis and working closely to bring opportunities to the South West and France."

Serge Bouffard, Normandie Energies vice president in charge of Nucleopolis, said: "We welcome the opportunity to work with Nuclear South West in our mission to promote the economic development of the nuclear sector in Normandy. The collaboration enables companies to connect, build relationships and seek opportunities that benefit all of the French and British organisations involved. Nucleopolis is the ambassador of French nuclear excellence in Normandy. We will work with Nuclear South West to maintain and develop the sector for the benefit of our regions."

The signing of the MoU follows a report commissioned by Nuclear South West which shows that the region is ideally placed to capitalise on economic opportunities worth GBP50 billion to the UK economy. The research states that SMEs, large companies and training providers in the region could supply GBP15 billion worth of work to the nuclear sector.

EDF Energy's Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant project in Somerset is expected to create 25,000 job opportunities, 1000 apprenticeships and inject some GBP100 million into the regional economy annually. The region also host the shutdown Oldbury nuclear power plant, where Horizon Nuclear Power proposes to construct two advanced boiling water reactor units. It is also home to the South West Nuclear Hub incorporating the Nuclear Research Centre, as well as the National College for Nuclear.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News