What makes nuclear projects unpredictable? The decision-making dilemma

Nuclear projects represent some of the most impressive achievements of the human race, delivering scientific firsts that will find a place in history books for centuries to come. However, for several reasons, including public perception and shifting political will, UK nuclear projects have failed to evolve into a repeatable cycle of new builds. As a result, every project is a first of a kind or worse still, one of a kind. This causes a circular problem as poor repeatability leads to investor reticence and greater delays between project starts.  And this seems to be getting worse: in the last few weeks, we have seen yet another investor walk away from a UK nuclear new build; with Hitachi ending its interest in the Wylfa Newydd project.

What makes nuclear projects unpredictable? The decision-making dilemma

The recently established Nuclear Project Management Specific Interest Group, a joint initiative between the Association for Project Management and the Nuclear Institute, has been reviewing this challenge and in this blog, I discuss some of the issues involved.


Posted by David Whitmore on 8th Oct 2020

About the Author

David is an experienced project and programme manager. He leads the MI-GSO|PCUBED Energy business and has over 35 years’ experience working on high profile projects including the nuclear submarine programme, nuclear new build and nuclear weapons. He was the professional head of project and programme management at Rolls-Royce Submarines and has board level experience from Rolls-Royce Submarines. Horizon Nuclear Power, Atkins Nuclear and a number of Joint Venture companies. He has worked on a diverse range of challenges for clients in the UK, France, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the USA.

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