The government’s proposed nuclear build programme will not be able to fill the energy gap by 2020, a professional engineering body has warned.

The Institute for Engineering Technology (IET) said in its submission to the government consultation on nuclear power that the energy crunch would come before reactors were operational.

The government will decide whether or not to give the go-ahead to the programme following the consultation, which closed on Wednesday.

Georgia Nakou, the IET’s principal policy adviser, said: “We will need people to evaluate reactor design, to plan and to commission, and that’s quite a top skill set required up front.”