The challenge of cleaning up and decommissioning Sellafield, and the role that Europe’s oldest and most complex nuclear site has to play in the UK’s energy future, is the main focus of The Times newspaper’s ‘Business Insight’ supplement this week.
The Times hosted their latest ‘Business Forum’ event, a ‘Question Time’ style event, hosted by Managing Director, Tony Price, against the backdrop of the nuclear site in West Cumbria. The debate took place in Sellafield Ltd’s off-site training centre, a state-of-the-art facility designed to mimic some of the facilities on Europe’s oldest and most complex nuclear licensed site, so as to introduce new recruits to the challenges of working within a nuclear environment, before they take that exciting step onto the site itself.
Chaired by The Times’ Northern director, Alasdair Nimmo, a panel made up of business, educational and political leaders from across West Cumbria, discussed Sellafield Ltd’s role in the community, their contribution to UK skills investment and the country’s nuclear renaissance.
Tony Price kicked off the debate, introducing Sellafield Ltd as the ‘shop window’ of the nuclear industry, highlighting the importance of the role it plays in shaping the generation of nuclear professionals and emphasising the need to build confidence in the industry nationally and globally.
He talked at length about the new Sellafield Ltd Strategy, and shared details of the vast work being done at Sellafield Ltd to stimulate interest in STEM subjects from an early age, which, along with the world class apprentice programme, demonstrates the company’s commitment to skills investment.
The panel then considered the skills agenda, with React Engineering director, Peter Woolaghan, challenging people’s unflattering perception of science and engineering, claiming: “If you can’t make trains, planes and rockets exciting then there is something sadly wrong.”
Panellists were united in the view that Sellafield Ltd has a huge opportunity to stimulate economic growth, but only by cleaning up the legacy of the past, which it is doing well.
Throughout the event, panel members talked of the importance of ‘telling the story’ to promote Sellafield Ltd’s work, promote the skills agenda and more importantly, sell West Cumbria as a place to live and do business.
Sellafield Ltd was delighted to host and support the event, which provided a platform for a passionate and emotive debate about some key challenges and opportunities faced by the industry, and the UK.
The event and supplement have been timed to coincide with the 2014 Budget announcement.
You can read more at Business Insight.