In the video below, I try to convey how nuclear decommissioning can affect communities surrounding our sites. I explain the NDA's role and how we work with other organisations to support the economy of these communities.
Please watch the video or read the transcript below to understand more about NDA's socio-economic role and our work with local communities.
The consultation on the draft of our revised strategy is open until 15 February 2016. We are encourage anyone interested in socio-economic issues to look at the Socio-economic section and share their thoughts with us.
The NDA’s decommissioning agenda offers both challenges and opportunities for the communities in which we operate.
The sites are in remote areas, so they’re usually the major local employer. They’re dominant in the community. They offer high wages and job security and the community relies on them quite heavily.
But as our decommissioning moves forward, the impacts are likely to be more significant.
The Government recognised this and gave the NDA a socio-economic role in the Energy Act.
That role is a responsibility to consider socioe-conomic impacts as we work, and also a responsibility to support local economic development agencies in minimising those impacts.
The NDA’s role in socio-economics is a supporting one, we support local economic development agencies in minimising the impact of our decommissioning work. That means we can maintain positive relations with the local communities while progressing with decommissioning work.
It’s really important to maintain positive relations with our communities, as we progress our decommissioning agenda, and the fact that they know we are investing in minimising socio-economic impacts of our work, means that we can maintain those positive relations.
Ten years since we’ve been founded, the NDA has channelled more than £46m into local communities.
When you add matched funding to that, you can see the total is increased significantly.
We invest in skills and infrastructure projects particularly. We have supported the Port of Workington and Scrabster Harbour. We have supported schemes that help small and medium-sized enterprises become more competitive and find new markets. We have supported skills transition projects, to help people transition from roles on site to perhaps other roles, or to roles off-site or even to their own new businesses.
We support STEM work in schools (that’s science, technology, engineering and maths) because a future nuclear workforce is critical. So if we engage at a young age, we’re more likely to achieve that.
We have supported further education centres in West Cumbria, Anglesey and Caithness to name but a few.
We have contributed to the development of business and industrial space in Gretna, Annan and Romney Marsh.
Of particular note is the Albion Square development in Whitehaven where lots of organisations work together to deliver significant office space in the town centre. That took a thousand people off Sellafield site and into Whitehaven town centre and brought all their spending with them.
The NDA socio-economic strategy is to maintain sustainable communities, moving towards site closure and after that point.
We’ll work to increase the attractiveness of these areas as places to live in, to work and invest in.
We will support the economic diversification of these areas, so that the community is less reliant on nuclear in future years.
We’ll work with nuclear new build and adjoining site organisations to try and exploit the opportunities for local people to be involved in the nuclear industry.
Some of our sites have neither the prospect of nuclear new build nor adjoining site potential, so for them the situation may become particularly acute, depending on what alternative economic activity there is.
So the situation has become much more fluid and dynamic, and our strategy now needs to take that into account. So going forward, we need to move to a much more bespoke, tailored solution for each of our communities around our sites.
As well as developing these individualised, tailored socio-economic strategies for each of our communities, we also need to make sure that socio-economics is much more integrated with some of our core strategies at NDA and Site Licence Company (SLC) level. Particularly when it comes to people and skills, land and property, and supply chain development.
Additionally, we need to incentivise the supply chain to help us deliver our socio-economic responsibilities.
They have something to gain as well, and by taking a whole industry approach to socio-economic development, we make big differences.
We also need to give greater focus to those activities that both help address local socio-economic needs, but also help the NDA deliver its mission.
For example, skills development and supply chain development are both good for the community and good for the NDA and SLCs.
Online engagement via web chat
If you have questions or comments, you can log in to a web chat. We have scheduled 2 sessions where our specialists will be online to answer any queries you might have:
11:30 Friday 29 January (1 hour)
16:00 Monday 8 February (1 hour)
Feel free to submit questions beforehand via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide answers during the live web chats.
Transcripts will be available after each session.