The government is recruiting a senior new official to spearhead plans for revamping the financing framework for new nuclear projects.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has advertised for a nuclear power policy – head of financing.
According to the advert, which Utility Week has seen on the LinkedIn website, the role will involve helping to design and evaluate a “new approach to financing new nuclear power plants in the UK”.
The role is “high profile work, and a ministerial priority”, according to the advert.
The head of financing will report to a deputy director in BEIS and will work with fellow officials in the Treasury, the Cabinet Office and No.10 Downing Street.
The publication of the advert follows the government’s recent announcement that it is taking a fresh look at how to finance the nuclear pipeline.
This includes specifically assessing the potential of a regulated asset base funding model, which has previously been used for the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
The advert says this work is “currently in the early stages of development” giving the successful candidate “considerable ability to influence and direct the approach to financing and direct the approach to financing and the policy framework.”
The role will involve working with advisers to design a competition for the capital required to finance a future nuclear power plant.
It will also involve working with Ofgem and other experts on developing arrangements for the economic regulation of nuclear projects, particularly with regard to financing structures.
The team will also work with the energy regulator and nuclear developers to design the capital structure for nuclear development projects.
Responsibilities will extend to interacting with potential investors, including on the design and operation of a soft market testing process and with rating agencies.
The job is worth up to £70,394 per annum and is five rungs down on the civil service ladder below the permanent secretary who heads BEIS.
The new role has come to light amidst doubts over the future of plans for a new plant at Moorside, one of the most advanced of the new fleet of reactors being planned by the government.
John Woodcock, the independent MP for the Barrow and Furness, accused the government in a local newspaper column of “stubbornly” maintaining “a hands-off approach to Moorside that is short-sighted and self-defeating.”
He said it was “frustrating” that business secretary Greg Clark had refused to meet local MPs when he visited west Cumbria earlier this week to discuss the future of Moorside.
Woodcock, who recently quit the Labour party, said that the situation has got “more serious and urgent” since he and Copeland Conservative MP Trudy Harrison had met junior BEIS minister Richard Harrington, last month.