Post nuclear jobs boost

CONTRACTS worth billions of pounds will be awarded when East Anglia's nuclear, oil and gas installations are decommissioned and the region's firms should gear themselves up to benefit.

CONTRACTS worth billions of pounds will be awarded when East Anglia's nuclear, oil and gas installations are decommissioned and the region's firms should gear themselves up to benefit.

This is the message from the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) which is organising a conference on November 4 at Newmarket Racecourse.

It will offer advice on the opportunities arising from the decommissioning over the next few decades of the Sizewell A and Bradwell nuclear power stations and the 150 oil and gas platforms off the east coast.

"Decommissioning of nuclear and off-shore assets is a fact. The only uncertainty is timing," said John Best, EEEGR chief executive.


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"We want to make sure that businesses in the region understand the situation and can prepare themselves for acquiring the skills required.

"Unless we position ourselves to do the work then someone else is going to come in to our back yard and do it for us," he added.

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Mr Best said expertise in decommissioning could not only be used locally but exported to other parts of the country and abroad.

There were 7,000 oil and gas platforms in the world and hundreds of nuclear power station which would need decommissioning.

In the UK nuclear decommissioning, to be financed by a new Government-run fund, was worth an estimated £48 billion in contracts while the decommissioning of off-shore oil and gas platforms would be worth an additional £2 billion.

Mr Best said that the decommissioning of Sizewell A, due to cease operation in 2006, and the Bradwell nuclear power station, already closed, would not only involve engineering and demolition skills but the ability to monitor the safety of the site for hundreds of years, as radioactivity "cooled".

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