ERA launches Midlands Nuclear – maximising nuclear opportunities for the Midlands

The Energy Research Accelerator has launched Midlands Nuclear, a body which aims to bring together the nuclear industry with the suppliers, researchers and skills providers in the Midlands.

Published On: April 21, 2023

The aim of Midlands Nuclear is to work on behalf of these stakeholders and the wider region, to make the case for increased and sustained investment into Nuclear and related industries in the Midlands. Midlands Nuclear is technology neutral and without a bias towards any specific sector.

The drive towards net zero and the increasing need for energy security requires complete transformation of the UK energy sector. To help meet these demands, the UK Government is signalling the need for a five-fold increase in the generation of electricity by nuclear energy alongside accelerated innovation on next generation nuclear technologies.

The Midlands has not historically been a site for the location for nuclear energy generation, but the development of these new technologies is likely to change this – bringing vast economic opportunities to our region.

At Nuclear Week in Parliament at the end of January 2023, ERA and Midlands Engine launched their co-authored Midlands Nuclear Report.

The Report is both a review of national developments within nuclear and its related industries as well as a deep dive into the existing regional expertise and opportunities for growth in the sector. It recommends a series of interventions which Midlands Nuclear aims to deliver on, including the examination of potential sites, support for nuclear and related industry sectors and supply chains, and the coordination of skills to support the sector’s growth in the Midlands.

The first of seven recommendations within the Report – designed to ensure that the Midlands is positioned to benefit from investment and growth in nuclear and related industries over the next two decades – is the formation of Midlands Nuclear.

Speaking about the formation of Midlands Nuclear, Professor Martin Freer, Director of the Energy Research Accelerator, said:

We already have a wealth of companies involved in the nuclear supply chain, along with tremendous strengths in research and development. The region was also chosen as the home for the new Fusion Power Plant which will be based at West Burton in North Nottinghamshire, which will create a huge number of new jobs.

I believe that the creation of Midlands Nuclear is a vital step for the region to establish its credentials as a hub of industry and research in nuclear, helping to attract new investment and create high skilled jobs in the Midlands.

Tom Greatrex, CEO of the Nuclear Industry Association added:

This is a hugely exciting time for the nuclear industry, and the Midlands has everything in its arsenal to develop into a nuclear powerhouse. Communities up and down the country are feeling the benefits of having a vibrant nuclear sector; well paid, skilled jobs, which help keep the lights on and protect the planet.