Osborne backs Fylde nuclear fuels expertise

The Westinghouse Springfields oxide production plant at Salwick
The Westinghouse Springfields oxide production plant at Salwick
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Fylde MP Mark Menzies has won a commitment from the Chancellor of the Exchequer for continuing Government support for Fylde’s nuclear fuel industry.

The Member of Parliament spoke to the Rt Hon George Osborne in the House of Commons.

It came as workers at the Westinghouse-owned Springfields fuel factory at Salwick were awaiting the go-ahead for construction of three new nuclear power reactors at the Moorside site near Sellafield in Cumbria. Springfields would be likely to make the fuel for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors for the Nugen group.

During the Commons session, Mr Menzies thanked the Chancellor for supporting the north of England in the Spending Review and added: “My constituency is the powerhouse of the northern economy because we manufacture the nuclear fuel that fuels almost every reactor in the UK.

“Will the Chancellor do everything he can to ensure that fuel for the new nuclear reactors that he spoke about today is made in Fylde?”

Mr Osborne replied: “I certainly give my honourable friend a commitment that we will continue investing in his constituency, which he champions so effectively.

“He is right to say that north-west England is an area with real expertise in nuclear power, and we have made a big commitment not just on the development of this generation of nuclear power stations, but on the small modular reactors about which there is real expertise in the north-west.”

Following the session, Mr Menzies said it was important highly-skilled workers from Fylde benefited from any additional fuel needs for new UK reactors.

He said: “I believe it is important we have an energy mix in the UK to prevent any future issues with supply and nuclear will play its part in that.

“At Springfields in Fylde, we have the expertise and experience of producing fuel for reactors in the UK and around the world and we are now seeing more jobs and apprenticeships being created in that sector. I was delighted the Chancellor recognised our important role within the industry and committed to ensuring that Fylde will continue to be a major player in this area moving forward.”