Nuclear energy in the UK
In the late 1990s, nuclear power contributed to around 25% of the total annual electricity generated in the UK. Since then this number has decreased as old plants have closed. As of 2019, there are 15 reactors across the UK which generate around 21% of its electricity. Following the trend of a steady decline, this capacity is set to be halved by 2025.
The UK has 15 nuclear reactors across seven plants, as well as nuclear reprocessing plants at Sellafield and Capenhurst.
With more than 10,000 employees and 3,000 contractors working at Sellafield and Capenhurst at any given time, it’s not hard to see why these sites are a magnet for engineering contractors. What’s more, with the Government targets to reduce the use of fossil fuel, now could be an excellent time to get into the nuclear fuel industry for the first time.
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Sellafield is a nuclear power plant located close to Seascale on the coast of Cumbria, England. Covering an area of two square miles, the site consists of more than 1,000 buildings and 200 nuclear facilities.
The work carried out at Sellafield falls into four key areas:
- Retrievals: Retrieving nuclear waste stored in the legacy ponds and silos. These are the highest risks at Sellafield.
- Remediation: The ongoing maintenance and cleaning of facilities.
- Spent nuclear fuel management: Sellafield currently reprocesses spent nuclear fuel. In the future, this spent fuel will be stored instead of processed.
- Special nuclear materials: Sellafield has the facilities and expertise to provide the necessary storage for these materials.
Over 10,000 people work at Sellafield. With the future challenges of the site, it must be managed effectively and correctly. If you wish to look for a new role at Sellafield, opportunities are posted on the dedicated careers website.
Your career in nuclear energy
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Contracting at Capenhurst
Originally created in the 1940s as a Royal Ordnance Factory, Capenhurst was chosen as the location for a uranium enrichment plant and started operating in the early 1950s.
The Capenhurst site is located around 6 miles north of Chester, in the North West of England. Managed and operated by Urenco UK Ltd, the site contains three enrichment plants, which enable nuclear power stations across the world to generate electricity.
Vacancies are available on the Urenco website.
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