Select Committee on Scottish Affairs Written Evidence


Letter to the Committee from Aker Kvaerner Engineering Services Ltd

  We write as an Engineering Services Contractor (Aker Kvaerner Engineering Services Ltd), based in Stockton on Tees but with a local office at Forss near Dounreay. We work in the Nuclear, Industrial, Energy and Process Engineering sectors.

  We are relative newcomers to the area having opened this office approximately one year ago with a view to serving the Dounreay site. However, we are committed to building up this office by means of a combination of local employees supplemented by specialist skills from Stockton and are already providing relatively well paid, stable employment for local people, including the manager of the office.

  Our observations, summarised below, are brief but we hope they will be relevant and of use in the inquiry:

    —  We consider that it is likely that nuclear power may be considered attractive in the relatively near future as part of a balanced energy portfolio for Scotland, particularly noting the advantage with regard to its low greenhouse gas emissions.

    —  If nuclear power is to form part of Scotland's future energy portfolio, it would seem appropriate to consider Dounreay as a logical location as an existing licensed site. It is likely that a majority of people might support such a proposal, not least because of the long-term employment prospects this would bring. The specialist skills required for operating a nuclear plant still exist in the Dounreay area and these could be used to good effect.

    —  Most people would agree that it is desirable to progress the clean-up of the Dounreay site as quickly and efficiently as practicable. To achieve this, it will be necessary to attract many skilled people to the area and retain those already there. If there was a plan for investment in new facilities as well as the decommissioning of the old, it is likely that it would provide motivation for completing the clean-up (as there would be new opportunities to move on to) and thus make it easier to get people to commit themselves to such a move.

David Ley

AK Engineering Services

2 February 2005

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