News Archive


A sector deal for the nuclear industry

The announcement of the government’s Nuclear Sector Deal has produced a boost for the industry at a time when the UK’s future choices about its energy future are critical to getting the right future energy mix. With over 20% of our supply typically still coming from nuclear, a future without this industry is all but unthinkable. Affordability is always a government concern but attaining sustainability is a matter of our long-term survival so, with a renewed push to drive cost reductions and an opportunity to compete with other sources, nuclear remains the sensible option in a balanced energy mix.

The key highlights of the sector deal are worth exploring in detail, but essentially it gives a mature and successful industry an opportunity to build on its high level skills and cutting edge technologies to continue its £12bn contribution to the UK economy and its long-term employment opportunities to some 87,000 people (NIA/Oxford Economics).

In welcoming the news, NI President John Clarke CEng FNucI said:

“Today’s news gives the clearest signals yet from government of a promising future for our new build programme. The nuclear sector deal gives the industry a base on which to continue to move forward and take advantage of the good conditions now presenting themselves. The NI looks forward to supporting the current and future nuclear professionals in preparing for this exciting future as the only professional body that uniquely serves this industry.”

Thinking of the future needs in terms of skills development, NI CEO Sarah Beacock said:

“The focus on the skills development required to meet the challenge is extremely welcome. The Nuclear Institute, as a crucial part of the existing nuclear skills network, stands ready to meet that need and provide the continued development of skilled nuclear professionals with the knowledge, networks, support and qualifications the future industry demands.”

Chair of NI Communities, Rebecca Weston FNucI said:

“The attention on regional job development and the efforts towards a more diverse and representative industry are crucial to selecting the best skill sets for the future. The NI can add significant value here with the actions of its Women in Nuclear and Young Generation Networks as well as its branch structure to ensure local delivery of professional support.”

What does this mean for the NI?

The NI sets the standard for nuclear professionalism with the Nuclear Delta. This offers anyone in the industry a way of benchmarking their skillset against the best the industry has to offer. This offers dedicated recognition for professionals in our industry and a unique way of raising standards to ensure a continued high skills base.

With an existing cohort of Chartered Engineers and Chartered Scientists, plus a forthcoming plan for Chartered Environmentalists in nuclear, we will have a wide range of STEM-based, industry-experienced professionals who will be leading their profession at this significant time in the industry’s development. Our supporting qualifications and services will help this group, together with the wider non-STEM nuclear workforce, in gaining and maintaining competences that are unique to nuclear.

This gives us the strongest opportunity yet to ensure that the NI is the first choice of professional body for anyone in the nuclear industry. Our value to our members is generated through some of our member benefits:

Knowledge – whilst we want our knowledge base to be as widely viewed and understood as possible, some of it is unique to our members. We provide this through newsletters (all), events outputs (mix of all/members only), Nuclear Future – a 64-page magazine 100% about your industry (members only), Special Interest Groups (members only), web content such as Safety Directors’ Forum guidance (all) and magazine archive (members only). It’s a way of adding to your knowledge base at a cost of around £2.00 per week.

CPD – as well as just keeping you up to date with your industry we help you raise and maintain your competence and commitment to the industry. The mark of a professional is you never stop learning so why not prove it with a regular demonstration of your continuing professional development. The NI has an extensive events programme that covers every aspect of the nuclear industry. The main benefit to members is a significant discount on delegate fees but additional benefits are the opportunity to get involved, add your expertise and support your industry.

Networking – whilst larger professional bodies can offer very localised networking opportunities, they’re not always in your industry. The NI’s networks are 100% nuclear and focused on the key areas where the industry exists. With ample opportunities to get involved, share your expertise and give something back, the NI Communities exist to reflect your interests. Whether this is through your local branch, Women in Nuclear, the Young Generation Network or Special Interest Groups, there is (or could be!) something for everyone in every aspect of the industry. Increasingly these networks become much more effective by working together. We welcome non-members accessing such activities on a trial basis, and strongly encourage them to join as NI members so that we can continue funding them effectively.

Qualification – the NI’s own professional standard is the Nuclear Delta. This is designed around the key nuclear requirements of safety, security and technology but in a way that is accessible to both the technical and non-technical specialist. It means that Members and Fellows of the NI have been assessed and recognised by their peers as nuclear professionals and is the unique way that ‘nuclear professionals’ stand out from any other professional or the wider nuclear workforce. It is not dependent on age, time served or any other criterion but we would like to see more than the current 3% of our young members (under 37) becoming professionally recognised and more than 7% of our female members likewise. More recognition of the Nuclear Delta standard and more industry-active assessors are desperately needed to help the UK hit its targets of a diverse nuclear workforce. Please help!

Volunteering – any professional body relies heavily on its volunteers but with increasing work pressures, time for volunteering is at a premium. The NI wants to encourage and help prospective volunteers by enabling them to offer even a small time commitment (micro-volunteering). If joining a committee or organising a dinner are too great a commitment then perhaps interviewing new applicants or assessing 2 or 3 applications a year could be something you could commit to. The NI provides a host of volunteering opportunities and resources and many report on the value and satisfaction that it adds to their career. Of particular value to some is the chance to give back to the next generation through supporting our education and awareness-raising activities at school and university level.

Industry liaison – through our Company Membership Scheme, almost 20 major industry employers have committed to the professional development of their staff by offering them the chance to be NI members and pay their fees direct at a discount. The benefit to members is instant, simple access to all the NI’s services and the knowledge of your employer’s commitment to you. The Company Members benefit from preferred terms for sponsorship, advertising and other engagement opportunities via our 4,000+ database and our 2,500+ members.

These are just a few of the benefits and value of being a member of the NI. Thank you to those that continue to support our activities through your membership and welcome to those who are about to make that commitment to their own development as a nuclear professional.