NSSG explores Agile Nuclear Workforce Scenario Modelling

Credible forecasting of the nuclear industry’s workforce requirements provide the backdrop to the development of a robust skills strategy.


For the existing nuclear estate, major work programmes extend over decades and, while they are subject to some change, long-term demand is comparatively stable.

However, new programmes to increase civil generating capacity are far less easy to predict, with a range of existing and emerging technologies contributing to the options.


The 2050 net zero carbon emissions commitment has extended the opportunities for nuclear new build, and particularly for the exploitation of emerging technologies.


To prepare for the skills challenges ahead, the NSSG is looking to develop an agile model that can quickly address scenarios from the modest to the ambitious.


The NSSG is currently proposing work to establish the principal features and boundaries of such a model, and the industry support that will needed to provide the all-important source data.


From https://www.nssguk.com/news/news/nssg-explores-agile-nuclear-workforce-scenario-modelling/



Dynamic Nuclear Workforce Scenario Modelling

Background

Credible forecasting of the nuclear industry’s workforce requirements must provide the backdrop to any realizable skills strategy. For the existing nuclear estate, major work programmes extend over decades and, while they are subject to some change, long-term demand is comparatively stable. However, programmes to increase civil generating capacity are far less easy to predict, with a range of existing and emerging technologies contributing to the options.

The 2050 net zero carbon emissions commitment has extended the opportunities for nuclear new build, and particularly for the exploitation of emerging technologies. To prepare for the skills challenges ahead, an agile model is required that can quickly address scenarios from the modest to the ambitious. This paper proposes work to establish the principal features and boundaries of such a model, and the industry support that will needed to provide the source data.

Purpose and opportunities

Dynamic modelling reproduces the main features of the static models featured previously, but with additional opportunities to explore the skills consequences of different programmes.

Outputs may include:

  • The overall profile(s) of demand covering 30 years

  • The optimal sequencing to smooth demand peaks

  • Demand profiles by occupation (or occupational groups)

  • Required year-on-year inflow to meet demand1

  • National or regional view of potential training requirements1

  • Economic benefits linked to sustainable nuclear employment1.


Assumptions and Definitions

Generating a model that has the support of the industry requires a set of assumptions and definitions to be agreed to manage the scope of the exercise and to give meaning to the outputs.

These will include:

  • Occupations to be included It is proposed in the first instance to use the six Function groups used in the last three Nuclear Workforce Assessments (Business, Engineering, Operations, Project and Programme Management, Science Technology Health Safety and the Environment, Trades). This gives a reasonable degree of granularity, while maintaining consistency with historical data.


  • Capacity of each generating unit The requirement for new nuclear capacity is defined in terms of its contribution to reducing the national generating gap, as fossil fuel production is reduced and the decarbonization of the transport system increases electricity demand. Capacity will translate into the workforce required to construct and operate each plant. Initially the model will use a generic workforce template, copied for each instance on the time line. With an appropriate template for each station decommissioning activity, that associated workforce could also be accommodated.

  • Growth scenarios Starting from a base of 9 GWe arising from Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C and Bradwell C (HSB) a number of scenarios would be modelled covering additional Low, Medium and High growth options. These could be adjusted to establish an optimum demand curve.

  • Fleet effect Efficiency factors can be included to reflect gains from multiple installations of similar reactors. These may be a function of geography, and so suitable multipliers will need to be agreed.

  • Implementation timeline The implementation timeline is crucial to the demand profile, so this will be a variable in the model. The time period envisaged is 2019 to 2049.

Proposed approach

The proposed approach will be to combine the workforces levels of up to 25 base models, with 3 representing HSB, and up to twenty two independent reactors at 1.5 GWe per reactor unit to provide scenarios as follows:


  • Low Growth (HSB + 8 GWe)

  • Medium Growth (HSB + 22 GWe)

  • High Growth (HSB + 32 GWe)

The initial timeline will add to the established HSB schedule, with units added at 18 month intervals to achieve total capacity by 2049. The parameters in this section will adjustable within the model.

Request to the NSD PMB

The Nuclear Sector Deal Programme Management Board is asked invited to endorse the principle of this proposal, and work with the NSSG to create the appropriate assumptions for low, medium and high nuclear growth that the workforce modelling will use.


You can read the full document here.



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