Industry ‘Should Consider Financial Support’ For UK Nuclear Students

3 Apr (NucNet): A national bursary award scheme for undergraduates could help build a skills base for the new generation of nuclear power plants that are expected to be built in Britain over the next decade, the chairman of the UK Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) said yesterday.

Lord O’Neill of Clackmannan, who is also a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, said companies preparing to invest in nuclear new-build in the UK might consider providing financial support to students who plan a career in the industry.

He also stressed the importance of the country’s existing highly-skilled nuclear workforce transferring know-how to the next generation of nuclear professionals.

Lord O’Neill was speaking after attending a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nuclear at the House of Commons. The group was updated on proposals for nuclear-related activities by energy minister Malcolm Wicks.

“We’ve got a lot to do, but it’s clear that government and industry together recognise the urgency with which we need to commit ourselves in terms of expanding the nuclear skills base the country will need,” Lord O’Neill said. “But in many respects we are already in a position that a number of other countries would like to be in.”

He also pointed to the launch of a bursary scheme for students on foundation degrees, honours degrees and masters degrees recently announced by the UK’s National Skills Academy for Nuclear in partnership with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Serco and SBB Nuclear.

The chairman of the all-party group, Labour MP John Robertson, said progress on developing a White Paper (policy document) on a national high-level waste repository was also discussed.

“The waste issue is important to people and we need to be able to explain clearly how we can safely manage legacy waste and waste that will eventually arise from a new generation of nuclear plants,” he said.

The government said in January 2008 that consultation about how to deal with the country’s radioactive waste had indicated “broad support” for geological disposal of high-level waste and a voluntary scheme for selecting a host site.

Mr Robertson said he understood that there had already been informal expressions of interest in the scheme by potential site hosts.

- by John Shepherd

Source: NucNet


News in Brief / No. 48 / 21 April 2008

United Arab Emirates Establishes Nuclear Corporation

21 Apr (NucNet): The United Arab Emirates is to establish a new corporation to oversee the possible construction and deployment of nuclear units in the oil and natural gas-rich Gulf state.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation will serve as the nation’s nuclear energy programme implementation organisation, foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said yesterday.

He said the UAE will also form an international advisory board made up of experts in nuclear nonproliferation, safety, security and infrastructure development.

Launching the UAE’s new policy on the evaluation and potential development of peaceful nuclear energy, Mr Zayed Al Nahyan said “robust growth” of the economy will require continued access to affordable energy, and for this reason, the country has begun to evaluate the potential contribution of nuclear energy to its domestic energy mix.

He said studies carried out by the UAE have shown that nuclear energy represents a commercially competitive and environmentally friendly option for the secure generation of electricity, particularly in light of projected future shortages of natural gas.

The generation of one kilowatt hour of electricity from a nuclear reactor would cost less than one-third of what it would cost to produce the same kilowatt hour using a crude-oil fired power plant, he said.

He said the UAE was determined to conclude a number of pertinent international agreements, including the IAEA Convention on Nuclear Safety and the IAEA Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management.

In an effort to limit the danger of proliferation, the government has also adopted a policy renouncing the development of any domestic enrichment or reprocessing capabilities in favour of long-term arrangements for the external supply of nuclear fuel.

In January 2008, an agreement that could lead to two European pressurised water reactors (EPRs) being built in the UAE was announced in Paris. France’s Areva group, Suez of Belgium and the oil and gas group Total said they had signed a partnership agreement to submit a nuclear power plant project to the UAE that would also involve local partners.

Source: NucNet

Home l Top l Disclaimer l Copyright l Webmaster