The Government has launched a £200million Nuclear Sector Deal.

Aimed at cutting the cost of nuclear energy, developing new technologies and encouraging more women to work in the industry, Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said the Government wanted to remain a world leader in nuclear energy.

The deal includes:

  • Reducing new build costs by up to 30 per cent by 2030, including considering different financing options to reduce the cost of capital
  • An industry-led review of decommissioning and waste management to reduce costs by 20 per cent and develop a clear pipeline of activity
  • A target of a 40 per cent female workforce by 2030
  • A joint investment in an advanced manufacturing programme to ensure the UK captures opportunities in high value components
  • A skills programme to increase the supply of subject experts, graduate entrants and apprentices, including the flexible use of the apprenticeship levy
  • A sustained supply chain intervention programme to help UK companies win contracts
  • The joint targeting of export opportunities to grow UK’s stake in the global nuclear market in new build, decommissioning and waste management
  • Regional support for innovation, skills and supply chain clusters through LEPs to maximise nuclear’s potential for key regions

Mr Clark added: "The UK is the home of civil nuclear technology and with this investment in innovation and our commitment to increasing diversity in an already highly-skilled workforce, I want to ensure we remain the world leader.

"Nuclear energy not only fuels our power supply, it fuels local jobs, wages, economic prosperity and drives UK innovation.

"This Sector Deal marks an important moment for the Government and industry to work collectively to deliver the modern Industrial Strategy, drive clean growth and ensure civil nuclear remains an important part of the UK’s energy future."

Cumbria Local Enterprise welcomed the deal and said it was set to bring major economic benefits to the county.

It will also be an integral part of the new Local Industrial Strategy currently being developed for Cumbria, it said.

Cumbria LEP has worked closely with the nuclear industry and the Government on the deal, with the Heart of the South West LEP, New Anglia LEP and the North West LEPs, which also have nuclear expertise.

It has also produced a green energy plan for consultation, which is looking at energy growth through nuclear developments and low carbon innovations to help businesses achieve greater productivity.

Jo Lappin, Cumbria LEP chief executive, said: “We’re very pleased that a deal has been announced that sets out a clear and long term strategy for the nuclear sector.

“It’s great news for Cumbria given that the county holds many of the industry’s key assets, many of the skilled workforce, and a significant supply chain.

"It puts the county in a really good position to benefit from this deal.

“We welcome the particular focus on innovation and R&D, which reflects emerging priorities within the evolving Cumbria Local Industrial Strategy, plus the commitment to increase gender diversity.

“As far as supply chains are concerned, we are seeking an extensive business support programme which looks at emerging opportunities.

"The sector deal will also provide us with the resources we need to encourage more foreign direct investment into the area.

“Now that the deal is in place, we also expect that Cumbrian projects related to the nuclear sector and supported by the LEP will get some extra benefit when the government is allocating transport funding.

“The coastal rail line upgrade and Whitehaven relief road, which are both closely linked to the nuclear sector, are two obvious examples.”