Experienced government advisor Chris Pook has joined the Nuclear AMRC to help ensure that the centre’s work is aligned with national energy policy, and that UK manufacturers receive the support they need to play their full part in national nuclear programmes. He introduces himself below.
I am delighted to be joining the Nuclear AMRC at a time of great opportunity for the industry. As Government Policy Director, I focus on ensuring that the government understands the needs of the sector and the challenges faced by the UK supply chain, and the role of the Nuclear AMRC in addressing them.
Despite the political turmoil of 2022, it has been encouraging to see all administrations maintaining their support for nuclear and R&D. My job is to ensure that this support is maintained and that government at all levels is aware of the capabilities that exist in the Nuclear AMRC – a critical national asset for the UK.
I have been working for governments of all colours since 1993, most recently at the Government Office for Science with responsibility for science capability, systems, science and innovation. Part of this was to ensure that R&D funding was increased and used effectively across government, and that departments and agencies had access to the skills and capabilities required to deliver the vision of the UK as a science superpower.
I helped establish the Technology Strategy Board, the predecessor to Innovate UK, and represented UK science, innovation and industry in overseas postings in the US, Japan and Singapore. The insight gained from this will help me to understand how best to position the Nuclear AMRC to meet the opportunities and challenges of the future, and to understand what business needs from government.
I am very pleased to be moving back into a role focused on nuclear and the energy industry. Under the coalition government, I led development of the industrial strategies for nuclear and offshore wind, which included for the first time a legal requirement for offshore developers to state how they would support supply chain development, skills and innovation. Previously, I worked on a review of nuclear decommissioning and waste management, visiting all the major nuclear research sites. The review led to the creation of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, and focused UKAEA on fusion research.
In my new role, I will be working closely with Tom, Liz and the rest of the team to secure the future of the Nuclear AMRC as an essential part of the UK’s industrial landscape. There will be a lot to learn, and a lot has changed since my first visit to Rotherham in 2012, but I am very much looking forward to the challenge.
– Chris Pook, Government Policy Director