Energy minister Charles Hendry says nuclear programme could create 5,000 jobs

Ninety percent of the work involved in the UK’s nuclear new build programme can go to construction firms from this country, according to energy minister Charles Hendry.

Speaking at a fringe event organised by EDF, which is building four new power stations in the UK, Hendry said each new build plant had the potential to generate 5000 jobs in construction. He said: “I believe 90% of the work can go to UK companies. In the construction of a new build plant, 90% is civil engineering and only 10% is actually nuclear work.

Hendry said that he believed the UK was now the most attractive place in Europe for nuclear new build developers to operate, but acknowledged that the government needed to “work on transitional arrangements” in relation to energy market reform in order to increase confidence amongst investors.

He said: “We have to realise the timescale challenge. New plant can be opening towards the end of this decade, but it will only be replacing those plants that are coming offline.”