Prospect backs nuclear lab proposals

Prospect backs closer government role for nuclear lab

Prospect has welcomed plans to bring the National Nuclear Laboratory into direct government control.

Details of the proposals to change its current status are outlined on the website of the National Nuclear Laboratory.

Prospect Negotiator Jez Stewart said: "On the surface it looks like a positive move that will reinforce NNL's position at the heart of nuclear R&D in the UK. With this news published alongside the government's new industrial strategy for nuclear, we hope it will yield investment and faster decision-making in a crucial sector that can drive economic growth."

However, the announcement on NNL's website was unclear about the new structure that will replace the current government-owned contractor operated company (GoCo) in April 2014.

Jez Stewart said: "While welcoming greater influence to advise government, something NNL is well equipped to do, we understand that it will remain a government-owned company, rather than being brought back fully in house. We look forward to being fully consulted on the revised governance and its impact on the business and its workforce. There is a lack of clarity on the prospective day-to-day government involvement in NNL, which must be resolved. We are committed to the preservation of highly skilled jobs during these changes."

Stewart welcomed business secretary Vince Cable's recognition that the nuclear industry presents significant multibillion pound long-term opportunities for UK companies and for thousands of high-value jobs.

"Our skilled members at NNL stand ready to play their part if we are to return the UK to the global top table of nuclear R&D."

NNL sites:

Sellafield & Workington, Cumbria

Preston, Lancashire

Risley, Cheshire

Stonehouse, Gloucestershire

Harwell, Oxfordshire