An overview of the UK Nuclear Industry


This article provides an overview of the three main sectors of the UK nuclear industry with links to further information on each of them.


The nuclear industry is as you would imagine a complex arena encompassing many projects within numerous geographical areas. What many people do not realise is the variety of work that is undertaken within the industry from research in science labs, engineering design, construction work, operating a reactor core to post operations clean out. However, at GetIntoNuclear we try to make things simple by splitting the industry into three main sectors those being Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Defence and Nuclear Decommissioning.

Nuclear Decommissioning - encompasses the removal of and ultimate safe long term storage of the UK's nuclear inventory of waste. The major decommissioning projects are managed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) which are a government agency who manage their four direct Site Licence Companies (SLCs) those being;

The above cover the majority of the UK decommissioning projects - the largest of which by some way being Sellafield which is in Seascape, Cumbria.

The NDA additionally manages Springfield Fuel Ltd via Westinghouse as Parent Body Organisation (PBO) and URENCO Nuclear Stewardship via URENCO as PBO. A great source to explain all of this can be found at the About Page on the NDAs website.

Find out more about the Decommissioning Sector

Nuclear Defence - managed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) the nuclear defence sector including work associated with the UKs nuclear deterrent, work on the existing fleet of nuclear powered boats and more recently work on the new fleet of nuclear boats which are currently in production. The nuclear defence sector is one of the most controversial and difficult to get into - particularly with the additional vetting requirements but is also provides the opportunity to work on the most challenging and exciting projects happening across the world at this moment in time. Big recruiters in this industry include the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems.

Find out more about the Defence Sector

Nuclear Energy – it is amazing to us but many people still do not know or appreciate that the UK has 15 nuclear power plants already in operation and generating electricity under management of EDF Energy in the UK at the time of writing. Many of these plants are undergoing Plant Life Extensions (PLEX) to manage the gap between the end of operation of the existing fleet and the hot topic in the UK at the moment the Nuclear New Build (NNB) plans. The NNB programme has been must debated and documented over recent years and is on the cusp of entering an exciting in time known as the “nuclear renaissance”.

Find out more about the Energy Sector


Get Into Nuclear are uniquely positioned to connect people looking to get into the UK Nuclear Industry to Nuclear Employers who are looking for people with transferrable skills from other industry.

Find out more about how you can become a free member of the UK’s largest nuclear recruitment network.