Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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Next steps for developing the UK nuclear sector - regulation and finance, delivering new builds, and priorities for innovation, collaboration and skills

Morning, Tuesday, 20th October 2020

Online Conference

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine the future of the UK nuclear sector - looking at priorities for funding projects, delivering new builds, and industry innovation.

The discussion in detail:

Business model development and moving forward with new-build

Priorities for policymakers and industry stakeholders in tying together ambitions to attract private finance, share risk fairly, and achieve value for money - with discussion expected on:

  • risk management - the balance between private and public investor exposure, long-term price stability, delivery timelines, fiscal discipline, insurance, industry collaboration, and construction costs
  • model design - stakeholder and supply chain engagement, project management, reproducible approaches, and utilising proven technologies

Enabling innovation across nuclear technologies

  • The way forward for developments in technology, strategy and financing models that can extend British leadership into existing and emerging markets
  • How opportunities around project development and innovation can be accelerated, looking at:
    • the creation of both Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs) and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), and to what degree the recent announcement of £40m to support the next generation of nuclear energy technology aimed at ensuring advanced technologies can accelerate research and project design, and help overcome challenges around project delivery
    • the next steps for developing nuclear fusion reactors, and priorities for proving the concept, commercialising technology, and providing to a global market - which also follows the £220m extended by Government for supporting the conceptual design of the STEP fusion power station
    • addressing technological and financial hurdles for industry innovation - latest thinking on overcoming engineering challenges, commercialising new materials and manufacturing techniques, and reducing costs down supply chains

Support for the sector

  • developing the domestic industry base, including local and regional clusters, and employment and skills opportunities
  • Priorities for enabling collaboration across the UK, and for supporting the development of innovation clusters throughout UK regions, with discussion on:
    • engaging with local industrial strategies and supporting local economic growth
    • building up the domestic supply chain for nuclear, and creating more manufacturing and construction capacity in the UK
    • supporting the development of the skills needed through engagement with higher education

Regulation and international partnerships

  • Future nuclear sector regulation - how policymakers and regulators can ensure frameworks are fit for purpose and support sector development and innovation through changing market conditions
  • Evaluating the UK’s decision to leave Euratom upon its formal exit from the European Union, with discussion expected on:
    • ensuring standards are maintained, and the potential impact of any divergence from European standards
    • protecting relationships and existing collaborations around fuel supply, waste management, and research projects
  • Next steps for harmonising regulation with international standards, and opportunities for unlocking greater collaboration, trade, and export potential with international partners

Why this is particularly relevant now - the context:

  • The Prime Minister recently reiterating in the Commons his support for nuclear power as significant potential contributor to meeting net zero ambitions
  • Government’s ambition to establish a sustainable model for developing nuclear projects in the UK in the forthcoming energy White Paper, following the collapse in Wylfa’s project negotiations last year, which was blamed by the Government on the inability to strike a fair deal for the taxpayer
  • The recent NIA Nuclear Roadmap report putting forward the promise of significant decarbonisation, economic and employment benefits from prompt decisions on moving ahead with a new nuclear power programme
  • Further reports and initiatives, including:
    • consultation on the potential of Regulated Asset Base (RAB) financing for nuclear projects to attract private finance, and achieve appropriate risk sharing and the lowest cost for consumers
    • a £3.9m competition by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Innovate UK, to encourage new and innovative approaches to dealing with radioactive waste
    • increased public research and development funding in the Budget, with nuclear and other high-potential technologies earmarked for significant support
    • the Nuclear Sector Deal, which set objectives around reducing construction and material costs by 2030, developing the skills base, and greater diversity in the sector
    • recommendations in the International Atomic Energy Agency report on UK nuclear regulation, including greater sharing of operating and regulatory experiences, as well as creating a national strategy for nuclear safety

The agenda:

  • The future for regulating the UK nuclear sector and ensuring regulation is agile, fit for purpose, and harmonised with international standards
  • Case study: designing a stable funding and development model for nuclear projects in the UK, and latest progress on the Hinkley Point C project
  • Priorities for progressing nuclear new builds and establishing project reliability, stability, and reduced investment risk
  • Progress on nuclear decommissioning, and the opportunities for UK expertise and logistics to lead internationally
  • The future of nuclear innovation in the UK and the wider global context - developing advanced technologies, fusion reactors, and tackling engineering and cost challenges
  • Latest thinking on expanding industry-wide collaboration - creating local, regional and national nuclear clusters, innovating manufacturing and materials, and narrowing the skills gap
  • Next steps for the UK nuclear industry and the priorities for delivering new builds, stable development models, and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This conference is no different. Places have been reserved by officials from BEIS; Defra; the Department for Transport; the National Audit Office; The Planning Inspectorate and the Welsh Government.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Tom Greatrex

Chief Executive, Nuclear Industry Association

Mike Finnerty

Deputy Chief Nuclear Inspector and New Reactors Director, Office for Nuclear Regulation

Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson

Managing Director, Nuclear Development, EDF Energy


Lord Ravensdale


Ivan Baldwin

Member, Nuclear Industry Council, Chairman, Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster and Vice president, Government and New Business, National Nuclear Laboratory

Andrew Storer

Chief Executive Officer, Nuclear AMRC

Alan Raymant

Chief Executive, Bradwell B Project, CGN

Patrick Robinson

Partner, Burges Salmon

Candida Whitmill

Managing Director, Penultimate Power UK

Leon Flexman

Director, Corporate Affairs, Horizon Nuclear Power

Dr Nicholas Hawker

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, First Light Fusion