A state-of-the-art skills centre for the UK nuclear industry has been officially opened at Sellafield.

The Glove Box Training Facility upskills operators in one of nuclear’s most important disciplines. Glove boxes are crucial to operations on nuclear sites. They allow operators to handle hazardous material in a safe and controlled environment. It’s demanding work which requires high levels of skill and dexterity. And now learners from across the country will get to hone their craft in a purpose-built facility.

Its aim is to get trainees work-ready quicker and with a broader skill set. It will reduce the amount of training done within plants and provide a standardised approach across the sector. That will lead to improved safety and quality, helping the UK to deliver its critical nuclear missions. The facility has been delivered by the UK Alpha Resilience & Capability (ARC) programme.

Minister for Nuclear and Networks Andrew Bowie said: "Nuclear skills training is key for the government to hit its target to provide up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity from homegrown nuclear energy by 2050, whilst supporting jobs across the country. Senior leaders from across the UK nuclear sector attended a launch event to mark the opening of the facility. They got to test their own skills in a special ‘glove box Olympics’ as well as hearing how the facility will revolutionise skills development for the industry.

Historically, glove box training was often provided within nuclear facilities themselves. That meant training tended to be bespoke and opportunities for standardisation were lost. The new facility will provide a more standardised approach, offering detailed training in glove boxes configured to recreate any scenario imaginable. Lighting and temperature can also be controlled to replicate the conditions trainees will face in the workplace. Training course content has been developed via the ARC programme and underpinned by a series of pilot training courses.

Publication Date
17 October 2022
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