Teesside University is to help set out the huge regional economic benefits of a multi-billion pound nuclear power station project in Hartlepool.

X-energy and Cavendish Nuclear have commissioned the university to look at the opportunities – including jobs, skills, supply chain contracts, and investment - led by Professor Matthew Cotton, Professor of Public Policy.

The work is part funded by the UK Government which awarded the firms £3.34m in April this year from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund.

This was matched by X-energy which aims to build its Xe-100 advanced modular reactor plant, by the early 2030s, next to Hartlepool’s existing Nuclear Power Station which is scheduled to close this decade.

The assessment is part of a £6.68m programme of work the companies are jointly undertaking to prepare for the proposed roll out of around 40 Xe-100 power stations across the UK.

Early estimates indicate a 12-reactor multi-billion pound X-energy project at Hartlepool would directly employ hundreds of people in operations and a peak construction workforce of several thousand in addition to the employment benefits in the wider supply chain.

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Carol Tansley, X-energy’s Vice President of Projects and UK market leader, said: “We want to understand from the outset how best to help our host community and the surrounding area capitalise on the benefits it will bring”.

“Teesside University is ideally placed to help us. The team has huge experience of similar exercises in the past, and excellent links with the local community and business sector.”

Mick Gornall, MD of Cavendish Nuclear said “a regional economy which hosts a project like this can experience a rise in productivity and growth. Creating supply chains and other infrastructure in local and neighbouring areas can permanently enhance economic capacity.”

Prof Cotton said: “A core principle of our research is to work with communities to address regional disparities and drive social impact for regions across the world. The proposed nuclear power plant at Hartlepool represents a massive capital investment in the Tees Valley and it is vital to understand what that impact will look like.

“By analysing how a project of this scope and scale will manifest itself, we will be able to determine the different socio-economic considerations, issues and risk factors for Hartlepool and surrounding regions."

The multi-disciplinary study will include a review of available socio economic data and engagement with local stakeholders including government officials, community leaders and sector experts.

The study will also examine national impacts, including the additional benefits from industrial decarbonisation applications and the manufacture of other clean energy products like hydrogen and aviation fuel.