LONDON: Leaders from the nuclear decommissioning industry have spent two days in Edinburgh with national stakeholders at the 2022 Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) Stakeholder Summit.
Around 170 stakeholders learned of the progress being made in decommissioning and cleaning up the UK’s earliest nuclear sites.
The event, which welcomed representatives from the communities around the NDA’s 17 sites, saw £528,000 funding announced to support the creation of three new Post-Doctoral Research Bursaries with the Universities of Strathclyde, Lancaster and Keele.
The bursaries will offer academic researchers, who have completed their PhDs, the opportunity to develop their research career in some of the NDA’s key focus areas of Sustainability, the Environment, Engagement and the Management of Risk.
While providing the researchers an important career steppingstone, the bursaries will also allow the NDA to work with new academic talent and fresh thinking regarding the approach to mission delivery.
David Peattie, NDA group CEO, said:
“I’m delighted to announce three new research bursaries in recognition of the contribution and difference individuals can make in our organisation.
“We hold research and learning very close to our hearts, evidenced by the fact we’ve invested £6.2m supporting more than 50 postgraduate researchers across the UK in the last 5 years.
“Our work with academic institutions to support postgraduates with bursaries, is hugely important in progressing our mission and helping to create the subject matter experts we will need in the future to clean up our sites.”
The summit, held on 7 and 8 September, welcomed a Scottish Minister for the first time with Màiri McAllan, Minister for Environment and Land Reform, who discussed the Scottish Government’s priorities and the importance of partnership working.
She said: “The Scottish Government is committed to the safe, secure and responsible clean-up of nuclear sites, with care for people and the environment.
“Partnership working and engagement are critical to the successful management of Scotland’s nuclear legacy.
“I’m grateful for the close working relationship the Scottish Government has with the NDA as well as the range of other organisations and communities associated with nuclear sites in our region.
“I am especially aware of the contribution decommissioning work continues to make to local communities and economies around our sites in Scotland.”
Via stakeholder feedback from Strategy 4 and regular surveys, NDA was asked to broaden its engagement to include more young people and also pressure groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to allow greater inclusivity of viewpoints, and challenge.
The NDA/NGO forum agreement was signed at the Summit and underpins the NDA’s commitment to openness and transparency, by encouraging wider scrutiny of NDA activities.