The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) commissioned Economic Insight to assess the economic impact of the 12 Magnox sites in the UK on their local economics, updating our previous assessment in 2018. The assessment focused on three areas: (i) current employment, GVA and tax effects; (ii) the reliance of local economies on the Magnox sites; and (iii) socio-economic impacts.
The first area (current employment, GVA and tax effects) is evaluated by estimating three types of effect detailed below, with input-output modelling used as the analytical approach to assess these effects.
- Direct impacts of the Magnox sites, e.g. staff living in the local area that are employed at the Magnox site.
- Indirect impacts of the Magnox sites via supply chains, e.g. staff employed by companies that supply products to Magnox.
- Indirect impacts of the Magnox sites via wages spent by employees of Magnox sites or their supply chains, e.g. staff of companies that Magnox employees purchase goods from.
We found that sites have the biggest effect on their local economies through direct impacts, and in particular through direct employment. This is primarily because most Magnox employees live in the local authority in which the site is located (or the one adjacent to it). There is also much variation in the current employment, GVA and tax effects across Magnox sites.
We assessed the second area (the reliance of local economies on their closest Magnox site) by determining the strength of the local area (e.g. looking at the employment rate of the local area, or the productivity per capita), in addition to its dependence on the Magnox site (e.g. looking at the proportion of activity in the local area accounted for by the site). Overall, we found that there is a large degree of variation in the reliance on sites; but that generally weaker local economies are more reliant on their closest Magnox site.
On the third area (the socio-economic impacts of Magnox sites on their local economies), we also found that sites provide significant socio-economic benefits. For instance, between 2012 and 2022, the NDA and Magnox provided £14 million to socio-economic projects in the local areas of sites.
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