There’s great variety in my day to day work. Although I was brought in to work on developing the Nuclear New Build Policy, I am also assisting in co-ordinating the departmental response to the Government’s "Red Tape Challenge" (the aim of which is to cut down the amount of legislation on the statute books) and my work is split between the two activities.
Some of my work is also cross-departmental and there is a degree of interaction with other departments such as MOD, Treasury and BIS. For this reason in some instances we are to prepare and distribute information and in other instances we receive and evaluate information prepared by others. A high level of intercommunication within the team is essential.
I’m currently on a graduate scheme for the nuclear industry which is designed to give new engineering graduates a wide range of experience with different employers in their first two years of employment. DECC is my second secondment. My first secondment was at a Magnox’s nuclear station at Oldbury.
Some people have concerns over how environmentally friendly the nuclear industry is and this is clearly an important issue and an interesting debate. If the world’s energy needs could be met purely from renewable energy resources that remained unseen then this would be the best option from most people’s perspectives. But currently this is not the case and a diversity of supplies is required to ensure a continued reliable supply.
To date, the main source of energy has been from fossil fuels, but it is simply unsustainable to continue in this manner. Nuclear is a low carbon alternative, with the amount of emissions to the atmosphere being minimal. Yes there are the questions concerning radioactive waste, but that is a separate debate entirely.
I have worked at a nuclear power station and have seen all the security measures that are in place and how strictly correct procedures are adhered to. People assume that they are dangerous just because of the nature of them.
There has been a history of bad communication between the public and the industry and we are trying to rectify this by making everything as transparent as possible, but it has been noted that when you are truthful with people, because of the history, some will assume that there is still more being hidden from them.
However, we’re getting there, and there are many people who were very anti-nuclear but are now supportive
The UK energy infrastructure is undergoing some extensive changes to cut down on our contribution to climate change. With that statement alone, I know a few people will roll their eyes, but both parts are true. The UK wants to cut down its emissions and steps are being taken to do so, and climate change is happening.
What is clear is that there is no single golden solution to this problem, so it will have to be achieved by a combination of areas; increased efficiency, carbon capture and storage, renewables and nuclear.