Net Zero News Issue 7

NNB, fusion and SMR - the future of nuclear

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NNB, fusion and SMR - the future of nuclear

  • Publish Date: Posted over 1 year ago
  • Author: Marketing Team

Nuclear power has been around for generations though in recent decades its popularity had wavered meaning no new nuclear power stations were built in the UK after Sizewell B opened its doors in 1995. That landscape is now changing though, as the next generation of nuclear is back on the UK’s energy agenda as they look for green energy production options to meet net zero targets.

Bringing back nuclear power

When construction of Hinkley Point C(HPC) finally received the green light to begin construction in 2017, it marked a huge milestone in the nuclear power industry – as the first nuclear new build (NNB) in 22 years commenced.

Whilst this year the Government has reiterated their commitment to see the proposed Sizewell C power station brought to life, based on the design of its sister plant HPC. With the NRL Group being proud members of the Sizewell C Consortium bringing together organisations from across the nuclear supply chain, it’s incredibly welcomed news.

Investing in nuclear fusion

In October the Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) together with the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) announced that it had selected West Burton power station as the location for the UK’s first prototype fusion energy plant.

Known as STEP, Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production, the programme is expected to arrive at a concept design by 2024. The main objective of the programme at this initial stage will be to review the effectiveness of the technology’s capability to produce sustainable low-carbon net energy – using magnetic fields and atom fusion to create energy.

Progressing SMR technology

Great strides are also being made by Rolls-Royce, as they progress their plans to develop the UK’s first Small Modular Reactor (SMR). This concept will allow nuclear power on a much smaller and scalable size. Components will be fabricated in modular parts in factories off site, before being shipped to site for assembly, massively reducing the time taken to construct SMR sites, compared with large atomic plants. Creating a low-cost alternative to generate clean energy at a much faster pace.

In November the Rolls-Royce SMR project team prioritised four potential sites for their 15GW SMR units – Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) operated sites at Trawsfynydd, Sellafield, Wylfa and Oldbury.

Did you know?

To comply with safety protocols, nuclear power station operators are required to shutdown active sites periodically to undertake scheduled testing and maintenance in line with regulations set out by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). During these shutdown windows, known as statutory outages, equipment grounds to a halt so it can be inspected and staff on site can safely work within the shutdown areas.

To support this mass undertaking, hundreds of additional workers are engaged on site, and at NRL we have the pleasure of working with local communities to recruit for these roles – which often don’t necessarily require previous experience. That’s because as well as the technical and engineering roles needed to undertake the testing and maintenance work, an army of support workers are also needed. From Chefs and Food Service Assistants to cater for the increased workforce on site, to General and Domestic Operatives to assist with cleaning and routine maintenance.

Sound like something you’d like to be involved with?

NRL have a busy schedule of statutory outages across the UK, including the upcoming Sizewell B programme which will commence in February 2023. Applications and security clearance is now being processed, so head over to our website to find out more and apply.

The latest roles from NRL

Check out some of the latest net zero and renewable energy roles we’re currently recruiting for:


South Shields, Permanent, Negotiable depending on experience

Great opportunity to join Equinor to progress the Dogger Bank Offshore Wind Farm, working with the Plant Manager to support this prestigious energy transition project.


Swindon, Permanent, Negotiable depending on experience

Working for a leading UK energy generator on projects such as hydrogen firing, carbon capture, battery storage and hydroliser installation.


Fully remote (UK or Ireland), Contract, £50-60 per hour

Supporting one of the largest EV battery manufacturers with their new-build and expansion projects in Sweden, as a Building Services/Process Mechanical Engineer.


Various locations, Permanent, £80-90,000 per annum

Working for a large new entrant to the UK market, with Principal roles in Aberdeen and Senior/Engineer level positions in the South East – working within low carbon and hydrogen.


Saudi Arabia (with relocation support), Permanent, Competitive salary (tax free)

An exciting relocation role supporting the country’s new nuclear power station being constructed - getting involved at an early stage to drive the challenge to reduce carbon reliance.


Kingston upon Thames (+Hybrid), Permanent, £40-70,000 per annum

Supporting a leading company in offshore wind turbine installation, overseeing the foundation designs and undertaking meticulous analysis.

Not found what you’re looking for?

NRL’s team of recruiters are always on hand to offer help and advice if you’re looking to accelerate your net zero career. Head over to our website to look for more roles to apply for.


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