A new study has revealed that the impact of the nuclear sector on the UK South West’s economy was worth £1.6bn last year.

Compiled by Oxford Economics and commissioned by the Nuclear Industry Association, the study highlights some of the major opportunities in the region, including construction of the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and several decommissioning sites.

It has also been found that the country’s civil nuclear sector contributed a total of £6.4bn to the economy last year. This shows that the cluster of businesses functioning within the area of the Nuclear South West partnership have an opportunity to enhance the region’s contribution to the community.

Nuclear South West is a partnership between the nuclear industry network in the South West and the stakeholder alliance of the local enterprise partnerships (LEPS) involving Heart of the South West, West of England, Dorset and GFirst, in addition to the academic and skills sector and business-support agencies.

“The country’s civil nuclear sector contributed a total of £6.4bn to the economy last year.”

Research shows that at least £50bn worth of contracts are expected to be available to South West companies over the next 20 years across 15 projects.

Nuclear South West chair Matt Burley said: “We welcome the findings of this new report that shows the nuclear sector was worth £1.6bn to the economy last year.

“This figure is about to grow with more contracts generated through the Hinkley Point C Supply Chain and decommissioning of Hinkley Point B within the next decade.”

The study also reveals that the economic impact rises to £12.4bn and generates 155,000 job opportunities when the sector’s expenditure on associated goods and services in the supply chain and the wage spend by employees are taken into account.

Each nuclear sector employee contributes an average of £96,600 in gross value added (GVA) to the economy, which is 73% higher than the UK average.