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Government Has 'Blood On Hands' Over Moorside

Thursday, November 8, 2018



A new nuclear power station in West Cumbria remains vital for the UK’s future energy security and requires urgent action says GMB Union 

GMB, the energy union, has said the Government has 'blood on its hands' following the collapse of Moorside build. 

Overnight, the Japanese tech giant announced it is to wind up its nuclear arm, which was leading the vital new multibillion pound nuclear plant at Moorside in Cumbria. [1]

GMB said the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority needs to be rebranded as it currently exists and a re-tasked Nuclear Development Agency created to make sure Moorside, and the accompanying creation of thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships, goes ahead. 

The planned NuGen plant in Moorside, Cumbria, has been in crisis since financial problems emerged in 2016 at the owner, Toshiba, and its nuclear subsidiary Westinghouse Electric filed for bankruptcy protection.

GMB has long argued the Government should take a stake in the financing of the troubled £10 billion Moorside nuclear reactor – rather than leaving this vital project at the mercy of foreign companies. [2] 

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

For the 12 months from 7 March 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. [3] 

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: 

“The British government has blood on its hands as the final sad but predictable nail is banged into the coffin of Toshiba’s jinxed jaunt into nuclear power. 

“Relying in this way on foreign companies for our country’s essential energy needs was always irresponsible. 

"Add to that the multiple opportunities to step in and take control, that were missed or ignored. 

“In the wreckage that passes for a joined up UK energy policy, the question now is whether government has finally learned the mistakes of Moorside? 

"A new nuclear power station in West Cumbria remains vital for the UK’s future energy security and requires urgent action: the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) must be immediately given a role for nuclear development and tasked with developing a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) on site, tapping into the wealth of nuclear experience and expertise in the area and ensuring we have security of supply in years to come.” 

Contact: Chris Jukes on 07870 176733 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at

Notes to Editors:


[2] Previous GMB press releases on Moorside

Government Must Take Stake In Moorside

GMB Demands Moorside Reassurance as Westinghouse Goes Bust

Toshiba Resignation Must Not Jeopardise Moorside

Read more:

'Huge Concern' As Moorside Investor Walks Away

Read more:

GMB Says Chinese Bid Is Not the Solution to Moorside Nuclear Plant in Cumbria

and Suggests the Lessons of the Toshiba Collapse Have Not Been Learned



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