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GMB In Brussels For New Nuclear Plants

Thursday, October 16, 2014

GMB In Brussels On 16th October To Discuss New Nuclear Plants In West Cumbria And Other Parts Of The UK

To keep the lights on we can’t afford any more delay in developing nuclear new build and we will do everything possible to secure a nuclear future for the UK says GMB.

GMB, the union for nuclear industry workers, will today (16th October) meet influential decision makers in Brussels to discuss new nuclear power stations in West Cumbria and other parts of the UK.

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for energy, and Edwin Dinsdale, GMB representative from Sellafield will meet the following senior EU Commission officials:

  • The EU Commission’s Energy official leading on the internal market for electricity, gas, coal and oil.
  • Senior officials from the EU Commission Directorate General for Competition for State Aid.
  • UK Government Representative to the EU for Competition and State aid.

Gary Smith, GMB national secretary for energy, said “GMB continues to press the case for new nuclear plants across the UK following the European Commission’s decision about Hinkley Point C.

The EC decision was crucial in clearing the way for construction to begin on the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. GMB considers that it is vital to get nuclear reactors built in West Cumbria and other parts of the UK.

GMB is seeking to establish the facts about the legal process of the Austrian challenge. GMB is seeking to develop a shared understanding about the consequences of any legal challenge for constructing the other nuclear power stations that the UK needs.

The threatened legal challenges are about anti-nuclear sensitivities as opposed to any real issue about Contracts for Difference. Everyone knows that renewables depend on huge subsidies to make them viable. That renewables are the only non-carbon power that can be underpinned with monetary guarantees or subsidies is a very contentious position which GMB does not support.

GMB is concerned that uncertainty and threats could weaken investor confidence, which in turn could damage jobs and deter huge and much needed investment in nuclear new build in West Cumbria and other parts of the UK.

If we want to keep the lights on, we simply can’t afford any more delay in developing the UK’s programme of nuclear new build. GMB will do everything possible to secure a nuclear future for the UK. These meetings are important for us in supporting the nuclear industry and our members who work in it.

Specifically on West Cumbria, GMB considers that it must be at the forefront of the nuclear renaissance in the UK. The region has a long history in the nuclear industry, with the ability to provide the highly skilled and experienced workforce that a new nuclear reactor would need. West Cumbria desperately needs the jobs that constructing and operating a new power station would provide, with all the benefits this would bring to the local economy, and to a community that is crying out for some support and certainty. GMB is determined to stand up for West Cumbria and help secure its future as a new nuclear location.

On Scotland, with the coal stations facing closure and with old nuclear plants which depend on lifetime extensions to keep going, there is a desperate need for new generating capacity. The idea the Scottish countryside can be covered with wind farms to meet energy needs is just nonsense.

Scotland needs nuclear energy. Power from the two Scottish nuclear power stations can meet now nearly 50% of Scotland’s electricity demand. Alex Salmond hasn't been candid about this fact. The anti-nuclear stance adopted by politicians means Scotland is set to miss out on a jobs bonanza in construction and the nuclear supply chain”.


Contact Gary Smith 07710 618909 or Phil Whitehurst 07968 338810 or Kathleen Walker Shaw 07841 181549 or GMB press office 079212 89880 or 07974 251 823


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