Union calls for Government to step in on Cumbria N-plant

Nuclear power station
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The GMB union is calling for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to be revamped to help save the proposed Moorisde nuclear reactor project in Cumbria.

Reports over the weekend claimed that the collapse of the project to build the vital new multi-billion pound nuclear plant at Moorside moved a step closer as the company developing the project was expected to confirm that it is laying off the majority of its staff.

Nugen, owned by Toshiba, the troubled Japanese conglomerate, has been consulting throughout August on job cuts among its 100 employees after failing to secure a buyer.

GMB has argued the Government should take a stake in the financing of the troubled £10bn Moorside nuclear reactor – rather than leaving the project “at the mercy of foreign companies”.

It is calling for the NDA to be scrapped as it currently exists and a Nuclear Development Agency created to make sure Moorside and the accompanying creation of thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships, goes ahead

The Moorside rector in Cumbria was set to have been delivering 7% of the UK’s electricity needs from 2025.

The union said for the 12 months from March 7, 2017, every one in 5.6 days was a low wind day (65 days in total) when the output of the installed and connected wind turbines in the UK produced less than 10% of their installed and connected capacity for more than half of the day.

For 341 days in the year, solar output was below 10% of installed capacity for more than half of the day.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: “The looming collapse of this vital energy project has been depressingly predictable for months.

“The lessons from the collapse of Toshiba should have been well and truly learned long ago: relying on foreign companies and countries for our essential energy needs is utterly irresponsible.

“The NDA must be re-tasked and renamed as the Nuclear Development Authority to take over NuGen and develop a new nuclear power station at Moorside.

“As well as eradicating the uncertainty, by the Government taking a stake and taking control at Moorside, the price to consumers will be greatly reduced making good all round sense, not just the obvious benefits to bill payers but because the Government is ‘the lender of last resort’ when it comes to guaranteeing the country’s energy supply and so direct public funding of the construction does away with the nonsensical pretence that this is some other country or company’s responsibility.

“It’s time to say ‘enough is enough’.

“The NDA needs to be scrapped as it currently exists and a Nuclear Development Agency created to make sure Moorside and the accompanying creation of thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships, goes ahead.”

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