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Call for clarity on the future of Moorside nuclear power station

The proposed new development at Moorside (Photo: NuGen)

[A] call for clarity on the future of the Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria on which thousands of jobs will depend has been made by Unite, the country’s largest union, today (Wednesday 1 August).

Unite is seeking an urgent meeting with business secretary Greg Clark to chart a speedy way forward, including the commitment of public money.

Unite acting national officer for energy Peter McIntosh said: “It is vital for the Cumbrian economy in the decades ahead that we have crystal clear clarity on the future of this project.

“Thousands of highly skilled jobs in construction and operations, once it is up and running, are dependent on this going ahead in a timely fashion. It will be a powerhouse, literally, for the regional economy.

“We are seeking a meeting with business secretary Greg Clark to flesh out the details of the government’s approach. Such a meeting has become more urgent following the news that 100 staff working on the project have been laid off.

“Underpinning the future success of Moorside will be a government commitment to provide the necessary and appropriate public investment.”

Unite national officer for construction Bernard McAulay said: “Ministers, the private sector and the unions must work together to ensure the successful outcome of Moorside.

“This is vital to delivering on existing and future construction skills’ requirements to construct the next generation of the UK Energy programme to meet the future energy needs in delivering the low carbon environment that the British government has signed up to.”

Toshiba has been trying to sell its stake in NuGen, a UK nuclear company, after French company ENGIE pulled out. South Korean state-owned company Kepco is in the frame as a buyer, but there have been delays in the sale process.

Once built, Moorside is predicted to provide seven per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.

Sellafield Workers’ Campaign (SWC) spokesman, Steve Nicholson said: “We call upon the Conservative Government to support the building of the Moorside project by underwriting the new build. Government must take a public stake to ensure that this vital power station is finally built; guaranteeing the creation of thousands of highly-skilled and well-paid jobs that communities in Cumbria need and deserve.

“The Government has so far refused to heed calls to step in and underwrite Moorside. This policy should be reversed to ensure the longevity of this project by financially supporting this most worthwhile of projects which will guarantee benefits for the local community and underscore national electricity production in the future.”

West Cumbria is the UK’s Centre of Nuclear Excellence which is best placed with its highly skilled workforce and knowledgeable community to deliver a new power station that will generate 7% of the UK’s electricity needs.

The drift and delay with this vitally necessary project is not in our local or national interests.

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