British Energy’s state of the art training facility, the ‘Nuclear Power Academy’ in Barnwood, Gloucestershire, was opened yesterday by Professor John Beddington, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Government Office for Science.
The £3.5 million academy is British Energy’s flagship training facility and will provide courses in nuclear technology and excellence in technical leadership to both new and experienced nuclear professionals within the company.
It is anticipated that the academy will run over 80 different courses with a throughput of around 2500 people each year.
Each of British Energy’s stations also has its own training facilities for site-specific work.
The academy includes nuclear power station control room simulators, three workshops purpose built for control and instrumentation, electrical and mechanical training, a new learning centre for all site inductions and 40 in-house Instructors.
British Energy has introduced its own accreditation system for employee training.
The system is based on that used by Institute of Nuclear Power Operations and incorporates best practice in the nuclear industry.
In the coming months British Energy is looking forward to taking a proactive part in its membership of the recently launched National Skills Academy Nuclear.
Commenting on the opening, Sir John Beddington, the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Government Office for Science said:
“Nuclear technologies offer us an option to generate sustainable, low-carbon emissions electricity and so clearly have a role to play in our fight to mitigate the effects of climate change. Now that the Government has invited applications for new nuclear build, initiatives like this will play a crucial role in ensuring that we are able to skill up our workforce to the high level that is required.”
Sir Adrian Montague, Chairman of British Energy said:
“We are committed to developing British Energy’s employees and to creating a world leading group of nuclear professionals. The Nuclear Power Academy is at the centre of British Energy’s investment in training. Building the technical capability of our workforce is essential as the UK begins to expand the role of nuclear as part of a balance energy policy.
“The opening of the academy is one of a number of steps we are taking to ensure we have can perpetuate the traditions of operational excellence at the heart of British Energy that have provided the UK with safe nuclear generation for fifty years. “