Use Your Skills In The Nuclear Sector

Leaving the Services can be a daunting prospect as you try to navigate information about the different careers available.

tom-greatrex-niaBy Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive, Nuclear Industry Association

You may think the nuclear industry is only open to people who have worked on a submarine, or have an expert understanding of physics. While jobs for people with those skills do exist, the civil nuclear sector is also looking for people who have honed their skills in a unique environment.

The civil nuclear sector is responsible for electricity generation through nuclear power stations, waste management and the subsequent clean-up and decommissioning of the stations once they come to the end of their operational lives.

It is going through something of a renaissance – there are plans for three new nuclear power stations to come onto the grid by 2030 as well as jobs in the eight operating stations and in decommissioning former power plants.

These jobs are all over the country – from north to south, east to west England, Wales and Scotland. The jobs will include everything from civil engineering and construction to project management and technical roles, through to welders and scaffolders, meaning that a job in the civil nuclear sector will suit many ex-Forces personnel.

Across all industries, engineers are in demand – and with the average age of a UK engineer at around 54, it isn’t just the new developments which will create the jobs you can fill.

Sellafield Ltd, based on the west coast of Cumbria is responsible for decommissioning the UK’s nuclear legacy as well as fuel recycling and the management of low, high and intermediate level nuclear waste on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

They have a tough job and need professionals who can think clearly and logically about how to approach the work. Jobs at Sellafield can cover systems and equipment engineers to maintenance and project management.

While an interest in engineering will be vital, there are still plenty of other different roles, which your services experience could open up to you.

Decommissioning is a hot topic in the sector as the UK looks to develop an underground structure to permanently house high-level legacy nuclear material. This project is right at the beginning of development and is currently assessing the geology of the UK to understand where the structure would be most suited. As a new development, many roles will be available once communities come forward to find out more about hosting the site.

You’ll be contributing to the development of secure low carbon electricity, which will power the UK for the next 60 years and more.  It is an exciting time to join and train in a sector which provides highly-skilled and long term job prospects.

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