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ICE President: Industry won't wait for government on nuclear new build

Major contractors are preparing for nuclear new-build despite the uncertainty in the market, according to the new Institution of Civil Engineers president, Richard Coackley.

The URS/Scott Wilson energy development, power and energy director said bigger companies had continued taking steps to ensure they are ready when the market finally takes off.

He said: “We’ve left it a long time to get our infrastructure back to a fit-for-purpose position and government understands what needs to be done; but we need a professional industry that is joined up and can start work immediately.

“In the nuclear industry I can see people getting ready, even though they are doing it at risk. Big companies are taking ownership of this challenge without government being able to say ‘go’.”

Mr Coackley said among his priorities as ICE president is a ‘state of the nation’ report on water infrastructure, which he hopes to publish in June.

He stressed the importance of civil engineers working closely through relationships established between the ICE and groups including the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the Association for Consultancy and Engineering.

These groups have been sharing work on submissions to the government ahead of National Infrastructure Plan 2 and on lobbying at the political party conferences.

Mr Coackley said: “Working together is showing dividends. It decreases costs and there are specific areas that we all need to be focused on. I want to see a unified approach and more people getting involved.”

Follow Tom Fitzpatrick on Twitter at @CnTomFitz

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