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Trainees gather in Workington to shape the future of nuclear

Around 250 young professionals from various companies were invited to the event at the Energus centre

[M]ore than 250 young nuclear professionals have gathered at Energus in Workington to explore the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in ‘the next nuclear century’.

The ‘Nuclear Vision’ conference was the brainchild of Sellafield Ltd graduates and, for the first time, was opened up to the supply chain, so that trainees in the early stage of their career can forge relationships within the wider nuclear family.

Luke Irving, from Sellafield Ltd, was one of the organisers, he said: “This event was about us taking a Sellafield Ltd idea out into the wider world, and we have got some really positive feedback from those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to their peers in the wider industry.”

“The theme of the day was based on our desire to bring the people who are at the start of their careers together to form new communities.

“There was a sense of real collaboration and I think we generated a belief thatt, collectively, the people in that room can shape the way the nuclear industry works for the next 100 years.”

Graduates from a range of companies like Jacobs, Balfour Beatty, Arup and the National Nuclear Laboratory attended workshops, watched high profile speakers and took time to share experiences throughout the day.

Kelsey Ray, a mechanical design engineer at Jacobs, attended the event, she said: “I thought the day was really well structured and I found the opportunity to speak with trainees outside of my own organisation really beneficial, I’d like to do more of this networking in the future.”

Steve Bostock, Chief Operating Officer for Sellafield Ltd, spoke at the event, he said: “The theme of “Nuclear 2120, the next nuclear century” chimes with the Sellafield mission to safely and securely remediate the site.

“We want to be a world leader in solving complex nuclear challenges, but we can only do that with the skills and dedication of the next generation of nuclear professionals. It has been great to see many of those future leaders in the same room, talking to each other about the opportunities ahead.”

Luke added; “When we suggested to our supply chain partners that they might want to be involved, they jumped at the chance.”

“Going forward, the Sellafield mission is about working in partnership and if we start thinking this way early on in our careers, it will create a better understanding of how we can collaborate in the coming decades.”

Attendees had the chance to speak to experts from from the Environment Agency, the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), the Chernobyl Shelter Fund at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) among other professional organisations, regulators and local companies.

The conference was supported by a number of Sellafield Ltd’s supply chain partners, with Balfour Beatty and Morgan Sindell sponsoring the day.

Sellafield is home to some of the most complex decommissioning challenges in the world. The company is driving a vast range of training programmes to help the nuclear industry develop broad set of skills it needs for the future.

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