Nuclear union applauds firm date for new reactors

Nuclear union applauds firm date for new reactors

Nuclear union Prospect has given a warm welcome to the news that a consortium comprising Iberdrola SA, GDF Suez SA and Scottish and Southern Energy has bought land north of Sellafield from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to start constructing nuclear reactors in 2015.

“This is the first time we have had a firm confirmation date for when new nuclear build will start in the UK and we very much welcome it,” said Mike Graham, National Secretary at the union for 15,000 nuclear professionals.

“It is great news for the people of West Cumbria and their future employment prospects, providing work building and operating the plants for at least three generations.

“Prospect looks forward to working closely with the consortium to ensure that they have the skills required to deliver the first new nuclear reactors in the UK. This is becoming ever more important in the face of the urgent energy security and climate change threats facing us.

“The unions and employers in the nuclear industry have a strong tradition of working closely together. Prospect will work with all stakeholders to ensure a focus on developing jobs and skills among the local population for both the construction and operation of the reactors. We will do all we can to ensure that the UK manufacturing base and supply chain benefit.”

Graham stressed the importance of the money raised by the sale being used by the NDA “to continue the planned decommissioning programme across the UK, rather than being returned to government coffers.”

Peter Clements, Prospect branch secretary at Sellafield, said: “The sale of this land by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is good news for our community. It gives a much needed boost to the West Cumbrian economy during difficult economic times, and we look forward to it providing jobs for our sons and daughters for years to come.”