Fresh from his visits to nuclear sites in Japan, Secretary of State for Wales, David Jones has today (26 March) lent his support to the launch of a strategy designed to enable the UK to seize the opportunities for economic growth in the nuclear industry.
The Nuclear Industrial Strategy sets out the basis for a long-term partnership between government and industry to help put the UK on the road to becoming a top nuclear nation. It aims to give businesses, investors and the public greater long-term certainty and to maximise the opportunities for creating growth and new jobs. It covers the whole of the nuclear market – new build, waste management and decommissioning, fuel cycle services, operations and maintenance.
During his visit to Asia (13-23 March), Mr Jones was welcomed to Hitachi City in Tokyo where he heard how plans to build new nuclear plants in the UK – including Wylfa B on Anglesey – are progressing.
He also visited the Ohma nuclear power plant, and took the opportunity to discuss the wealth of supply chain opportunities for UK companies during the construction phase of the planned nuclear reactors on Anglesey, and Oldbury in Gloucestershire. Hitachi has already said that it expects that at least 60% of the supply chain involved in building the nuclear power stations will be UK companies.
Marking today’s announcement, Mr Jones said: “During my visit to Japan earlier this month, I was able to see and hear first hand just how many opportunities Hitachi’s investment in new nuclear will present to us, not only in Wales, but UK-wide.
“In North Wales alone, it’s going to mean a major construction project with up to 6,000 jobs created, with a further 1,000 long-term high-quality jobs created thereafter. Their investment is a huge boost – not only to the economy of Anglesey but of course to the whole of the UK energy sector.
“The launch of today’s strategy will come as welcome news to those with an interest in seeing new nuclear development in Wales. It will help to support the retention and creation of highly skilled jobs and provide a great boost to companies in the lengthy nuclear supply chain.”
The strategy is being overseen by a Nuclear Industry Council, co-chaired by ministers and industry.