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DECOMMISSIONING ENTERPRISE CAN SUSTAIN GROWTH IN RENEWABLES
Iain Todd, Director of Oil and Gas Industry Development at the Department of Trade and Industry, visited UKAEA Dounreay where he met senior staff to discuss how the decommissioning skills being developed at Dounreay could be used to support other sectors. Accompanied by Carol Gunn of the HIE decommissioning task force, Mr Todd was keen to learn how the skills and experience could be used to support the Government's long-term renewable energy policies and how the skills being developed by local firms could, in tandem with larger multi-national companies, bring additional benefits to the area.
He also visited North Highland College at Thurso to learn about training for apprentices and graduates. He cited the test centre at Janetstown as a facility with great potential beyond its current role in testing the destruction of liquid metals. Current UK targets to generate 10 per cent of electricity from renewables by 2010 will rise to 15 per cent by 2015. Mr Bob Mathews, of UKAEA's Major Projects and Engineering Division, highlighted the potential of the business and technology park at Forss to provide the "front-end" offices for companies which with local expertise could become the focus for links to bigger contracts. "We are very keen to work with organisations like the DTI and CASE to ensure that the strong skills and economic base being developed in support of decommissioning can be sustained when decommissioning comes to an end," he said.