Chinese nuclear drive may create UK ‘skills famine’

The United Kingdom's plans for a nuclear power renaissance will face a challenge for skills and resources from countries such as China that are rapidly expanding their nuclear generation capacity, British researchers have warned.

Many countries are considering new nuclear facilities due to the pressures of rising fossil fuel prices and the need for new electricity capacity. China has plans for 24 new nuclear plants, the report said, and outline proposals for another 76.

But researchers from the Economic Research Council said the limited number of companies capable of nuclear plant construction means smaller programmes, like that being considered by the UK, are likely to lose out.

Speaking in June, British business and enterprise secretary John Hutton said: "The UK must aim to become the world’s number one location for new nuclear investment."

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