Union calls for clarity on nuclear scheme

An artist's impression of an AP1000 nuclear power station
An artist's impression of an AP1000 nuclear power station
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Union leaders have written to Business Minister Greg Clarke calling for leadership and public finance, over the Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria.

Unite, the country’s largest union, wrote following the news that French company ENGIE, pulled out of the NuGen consortium, the joint venture also involving Toshiba which owns the troubled Westinghouse Electric Company in the US which is due to supply the three AP1000 reactors for the site, near Sellafield.

Unite national officer for energy Kevin Coyne said: “The latest developments at Moorside, which is due to supply seven per cent of the UK’s electricity needs from 2025, does not inspire confidence. We appear to be lurching from confusion to potential chaos – and this is a cause for serious concern.

“We are also worried about the future of Springfields nuclear fuel manufacturing facility, near Preston, operated by Westinghouse, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US. Springfields is in line to supply the fuel for Moorside. Unite has 1,000 members at Springfields and their future employment prospects are a top priority for the union.

“Moorside is expected to generate 20,000 highly skilled jobs during its construction and when it is up-and-running – and will be a major economic accelerator for the North West. We need to nurture and protect these skilled jobs, if the Northern Powerhouse is to become a reality.

“The case for the government to underpin, with public investment, the financial future of the Moorside project is becoming more unanswerable by the day. The private sector has not made a great success of Moorside to date.”

See also: Dark clouds over Fylde nuclear jobs