Nuclear deal step forward - but government must quickly agree

Nuclear deal step forward - but government must quickly agree

The Nuclear Industry Council (NIC) has today published a sector deal for the nuclear industry. The Council includes representatives from the industry, trade unions and the government.

Pylons dramatically lit at night

Prospect, as the largest union for nuclear engineers and specialists, has welcomed this but is calling on the government to act quickly to agree the deal.

Crucially the deal recognises the important contribution that trade unions make in the nuclear sector.

Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect and member of the Nuclear Industry Council, said: “The publication by the nuclear sector deal by the Nuclear Industry Council is an important step towards securing the future of UK nuclear.

“The deal represents the best way to reach a serious, long-term plan to secure jobs and investment in the sector. It places an important emphasis on the role of the workforce and the trade unions to deliver that plan, and rightly recognises the importance of investing in skills for the industry.

“However, for this plan to become a reality it still needs the government to agree it. This process has now been going on for too long. The government must stop dragging its heels and get on with first agreeing, then implementing, this deal.”

The deal recognises the importance of nuclear in delivering the low-carbon energy supply of the future. Lord Hutton, Chair of the NIC says: “The existing fleet of nuclear power stations provides more than 20% of the UK’s electricity supply, and its low carbon, reliable baseload characteristics complement a changing energy system with a greater penetration of intermittent and variable renewable sources of generation.

“The combination of low carbon power sources has helped the UK reduce its carbon emissions, and will be vitally important to maintain that progress as both transport and heat become less carbon intensive, and more reliant on clean electricity in the future.”

Praising the role of unions like Prospect, the deal says: “Unions have a vital role to play in the future of UK nuclear, and should be at the heart of the sector deal. High level social dialogue at the centre, underpinned by similar arrangements in each corporate environment as at Hinkley Point C, can help the nuclear sector succeed in a number of key ways.”

Prospect is also calling on the government to address the issue of the UK leaving Euratom because of Brexit – Prospect is backing amendment 300 to the EU withdrawal bill to safeguard the sector.

If you work in the nuclear sector find out more about joining Prospect.