New Nuclear in the North West; its contribution to the Northern Powerhouse

New Nuclear Watch Europe/ Cammell Laird

The Maritime and Engineering College North West, 17 July 2015

Chair:     Tim Yeo


Linton Roberts, MD, Cammell Laird

David Mowat MP (Con: Warrington South)

Dr David Powell, VP, GE Hitachi

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Commercial Director, Mersey Maritime

Those also contributing to the discussion included:

Alistair Smith, Nuclear Development Director, Costain

Colin Clinton, Arup

Paul Harding, U Battery Project Lead, URENCO

James McGarley, mechanical engineer on the Sellafield graduate scheme

Dr David Powell, VP, GE Hitachi

Steven Szostak, Chief Executive, Britain’s Energy Coast

Chris Shirling-Rooke, Commercial Director, Mersey Maritime

Tim Yeo, Chairman, NNWE, said that NNWE was started to promote the revival of civil nuclear power across the EU. Its first principle was that safety was paramount and any technology outside the EU should be tried and tested in its country of origin. Its second principle was that nuclear power should benefit local communities and have a wider benefit for the country concerned.


The points raised in the discussion included the following:

  • Cammell Laird’s range of capabilities and speed of production meant it was well placed to take advantage of the renaissance of heavy engineering in the UK
  • A closer economic performance between the north and London had to be delivered and the large nuclear industry in the north west was a major component of this
  • The EU should be more embracing of nuclear energy given that it was the dominant technology scalable enough to make the massive impact needed to combat climate change and reduce emissions
  • Both nuclear and renewables were needed in the energy mix and the nuclear industry needed to be as aggressive as the renewables industry in putting its case to Parliament and others
  • Hinkley Point: nuclear had always been one of the top three industries in the UK the Chinese wanted to invest in but it was by no means certain that the Chinese would allow the bulk of the supply chain to be in the UK
  • It was important to emphasise the good news attached to the new nuclear story rather than the problems: West Cumbria, part of the Northern Powerhouse, with its concentration of nuclear-associated industries and talent could have an enormous socio-economic impact on the economy
  • Nuclear waste: this was the sort of problem to which a solution could be found; the issue of climate change was much more difficult to deal with
  • Mersey Maritime: set up to promote and develop excellence in all maritime related activities on Merseyside; a cluster of more than 1,000 businesses with members including the Maritime and Engineering College and sponsors including Cammell Laird

Following NNWE’s parliamentary launch last year and a roundtable in Brussels in April, this was a very successful first UK regional event with Cammell Laird for New Nuclear Watch Europe. If any of our members or supporters would like to recommend themselves as a location for a similar event in another region we would be happy to consider this.

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