NewsEurope's nuclear power push hindered by worker shortage

Europe's nuclear power push hindered by worker shortage

Nuclear energy needs workers
Nuclear energy needs workers
Images source: © Pixabay

9 July 2024 14:58

Europe aims to enhance the service of its nuclear power plants. However, implementing this plan faces a severe problem: a lack of qualified workers. This industry has a shortage of hands, and specialists from various fields are being sought.

According to Bloomberg, nuclear energy producers in France, the United Kingdom, and Sweden struggle to find hundreds of thousands of welders, engineers, and other specialists necessary to construct new reactors.

France wants to hire 100,000 workers

President Emmanuel Macron of France wants EDF (the world's largest nuclear power plant operator) to complete the construction of six reactors, for which around £60 billion has been allocated, and then prepare plans to construct eight more. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Marine Le Pen's group intends to build 20 reactors in the coming decades.

Therefore, the industry has outlined a plan to increase vocational training for workers, technicians, and engineers, aiming to hire 100,000 workers over the next decade.

Thomas Branche, Vice President of New Nuclear and Energy Projects at French engineering firm Assystem, stated that some companies are ready to offer higher wage increases than other industries. He also added that the nuclear sector is currently one of the most attractive in terms of wages.

The vacancy problem also affects the UK project carried out by EDF, the Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk. These projects are part of the UK's commitment to quadruple atomic power plant capacity by 2050. The government anticipates that achieving this goal in the current decade will require the involvement of 123,000 people.

Sweden focuses on education

Meanwhile, Sweden has six operating reactors, and the government has stated that it needs at least 10 more by 2045. This will require the employment of tens of thousands of workers.

Sweden focuses on education. The state-owned utility company Vattenfall, which operates five reactors, collaborates with schools and universities. The University of Uppsala, north of Stockholm, organises free lunches during which academic staff present students with courses and career paths in nuclear energy.

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