A FIRM exposing workers to the real-life hazards of the nuclear power industry says it hopes to create more North-East jobs and target increased global markets to mark its 40th anniversary.

GSE Systems, based in Thornaby, near Stockton, provides specialist electrical control services, working with a global theme park operator to maintain special effects and lighting, and energy provider EDF to supply simulation machinery for a £15m training centre.

Originally founded in 1973 as Teesside Automation Services, and later TAS Engineering Consultants, it specialises in electrical design and consultancy services in the oil and gas and process industries, and says it wants to continue its growth by adding to its 30-strong workforce.

The US-based firm, which took over TAS in 2010, also offers risk management, hazard analysis and incident investigation, and provides large simulators, complete with replica switches and levers, mimicking a real nuclear power plant, that are used to train workers.

The company today celebrates its 40th year, and Paul Welford, operations director, said it was looking to maintain its momentum and take advantage of growing markets, including Singapore, India and the United Arab Emirates.

He said: “Our services allow us to work for companies across a number of sectors, including the nuclear, petrochemical and energy industries, but we are now looking to expand further.

“The Middle-East is somewhere we are looking to focus on, and because some of our clients are US-based, they also need work farming out across the world.

“What we want to do now is look at the solutions, rather than just the products, and that will require more people and quality engineers.

“We want to be able to go to people with these solutions, so it becomes more than just a shopping list of products.

“Our services are very broad, the simulators mimic real-life down to every detail, and our concentration is always on high-level satisfaction and reliability, which is paramount for us.”

The company, which has its US headquarters in Maryland and further bases in Beijing, Chennai and Nykoping, in Sweden, built the first commercial full-scope nuclear power plant simulator in 1971, and has supplied more than 1,000 simulators to 50 countries.