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Ward’s Words: Nuclear Theme Group Meeting

Our nuclear theme group’s autumn meeting was hosted by EDF in Somerset on October 9th and featured a site tour of the Hinckley Point C construction site. I hope you like my pictures from out of the coach window – it is certainly large, and impressively far progressed bearing in mind the delayed investment decision.

This is our only sector-focused theme group, and it brings to the table all the key UK clients for the UK civil nuclear sector, namely EDF, Horizon, Nugen, Sellafield, Magnox. In view of our recent integration with the ECI, it is also arguably now a touchstone for how we add value at the level of mega projects across the divide between the ‘two sectors’ of construction and engineering construction.

This year the theme group has focused on the productivity challenge in nuclear. This is not a challenge which is limited to nuclear of course, Politicians and the Construction Leadership Council led by Andrew Wolstenholme have prioritized this challenge for the whole of the construction sector. But the refrain has been longest and loudest in nuclear, led by EDF, so it is right that we are leading on this front.

The first picture shows Adrian Worker, chair of the CE nuclear theme group, and Melanie Sachar, HPC Delivery Model lead, ready to start the meeting. The group will shortly be circulating a paper on ‘factory thinking’ for nuclear projects, to be supported by papers on processes and tools based on lessons learned from previous projects both nuclear and non-nuclear. We are grateful for the support of the Nuclear Industry Association and World Nuclear Association in this work.