Nuclear fuel workers on the Fylde are celebrating today after hundreds of jobs were secured by a £200m deal to build three new nuclear power reactors.
Prime Minister David Cameron and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe announced the investment by Toshiba in three AP1000 nuclear reactors at Moorside, Sellafield, built by Westinghouse Electric Company, which it owns.
The fuel for these reactors will be produced at Westinghouse’s Springfields factory in Salwick which employs 1,200.
The building of the three plants, which will create 14,000 jobs, could also encourage other European countries to take up the AP 1000s which in turn could create more fuel demand at Salwick.
Mick Gornall, Managing Director, UK Fuel Operations at Springfields said: “We welcome this announcement which demonstrates Toshiba’s and Westinghouse’s commitment to the UK nuclear industry.
“This will help safeguard hundreds of jobs on site.
“Springfields has a robust future business going forward which includes plans for the site to produce the fuel for all three of the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors which will be built at Moorside, as well as the possibility of producing fuel for any other AP1000s built elsewhere in Europe.
“It is good news for the business and good news for employees.”
The news was welcomed by union officials too.
Derek McMillan, Prospect Secretary at Springfields. said: “Both Prospect and Unite unions at Springfields welcome the news and it is an important part in securing the future energy needs of the UK and supporting highly skilled, quality jobs in the area.”
Mr Cameron said: “Today, we can announce the huge investment being made by Toshiba and Westinghouse, over £200 million, into the rebuilding of the British nuclear industry, specifically in the north west of our country in a project that could provide as many as 14,000 jobs during the construction phase and thousands of jobs ongoing as well as providing low carbon base-load electricity for Britain.
“This is a symbol of the growing relationship between Britain and Japan.”
Energy Secretary Ed Davey said: “This is an important step forward in the plans for a new nuclear power station at Moorside – a plant that will generate enough clean electricity to power around six million homes.
“Moorside means thousands of jobs during construction and billions of pounds of investment in Britain’s booming energy sector.”