THE nuclear industry is coming to Carlisle this autumn, when the city hosts the first 'Cumbria Nuclear Conference'.

The two-day event on September 21 and 22 will attract movers and shakers from across the sector and highlight the opportunities – and challenges – to Cumbrian businesses arising from nuclear new build at Sellafield.

Speakers confirmed include NuGen chief executive Tom Samson, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, the former Defence Secretary and Barrow MP Lord Hutton, and John Clarke, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Carlisle MP John Stevenson has organised the event.

He said: “Nuclear is a big opportunity for Cumbria – that much is widely recognised.

“But how we do maximise the benefits for the county? That's what the conference will address. We need to raise awareness of the opportunities.” 

He believes that NuGen's plans to build the UK's largest nuclear power station at Moorside, Sellafield, will bring huge opportunities for Cumbrian businesses to win contracts.

And he said there was a rationale behind the decision to stage the Cumbria Nuclear Conference in Carlisle, rather than west Cumbria.

The Conservative MP added: "Everybody talks about west Cumbria in terms of the nuclear industry but I want to emphasise that it will benefit the whole of Cumbria. 

“What's good for west Cumbria is good for Carlisle and Barrow too, and vice versa. We have to think in these terms.

"That's how we will attract investment into Cumbria.” 

The conference will open with a dinner at the Halston Aparthotel on the Wednesday night, followed by the main event at Carlisle Racecourse the next day.

In addition to the speakers, break-out sessions will cover the skills agenda, professional services and supply-chain issues.

The  international project management and technical consultancy WYG is sponsoring the conference.