More than 1,000 of the country’s leading nuclear scientists, engineers and support staff are to relocate to new facilities on the edge of Gloucester next year, as part of a long term plan as EDF Energy adapts to the changing power generation landscape across the UK industry.
However, the company hasn’t made any firm decisions about the future of the Barnwood site.
By 2030, the UK will transition from operating eight nuclear power stations – providing 15-20 per cent of the country’s power – to just two operating stations, Sizewell B in Suffolk and Hinkley Point C in Somerset, providing nearer 10 per cent .
The company is also planning Sizewell C, an almost identical replica of Hinkley Point C, which could generate enough low-carbon power to supply more than six million homes every year.
There is also significant work to be done defueling the seven Advanced Gas cooled Reactors, starting in 2022 when Hunterston B in Scotland and Hinkley Point B in Somerset end their power generation phase.
All of this work will be underpinned by vital technical support from the highly qualified teams working from EDF’s new base at Gloucester Business Park.
The planned move in mid-2022 consolidates a nuclear skills corridor between EDF’s key technical Gloucestershire headquarters, the new engineering design centre on the edge of Bristol and the hugely significant Hinkley Point C project near Bridgwater in Somerset. Closer collaboration between teams supporting the existing nuclear fleet and those developing the future pressurised water reactors will be a key feature.
The changes involve EDF relocating Barnwood-based teams to modern offices at Gloucester Business Park. Most staff are presently working from home, in line with Government guidance. As restrictions are lifted in the coming months, EDF will take on a hybrid working model, involving a mixture of home and office-based working.
The 22 acre Barnwood site has been the UK nuclear fleet’s engineering, administrative and technical HQ since the 1970s, EDF assumed ownership when it bought the UK nuclear business in 2009.