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GMB Press For Hinkley Point C Go Ahead

Monday, January 13, 2014

GMB National Secretary In Brussels On 13th/14th January To Press Case In EU Investigation For Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station Go Ahead

Were the EU to delay or block Hinkley Point C for some unexpected reason this would be a disaster for jobs and the associated UK nuclear industries says GMB.

Gary Smith, National Secretary for Energy, is in Brussels today and tomorrow (13th and 14th January) for a series of meetings with officials on the formal EU investigation into to deal on the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

This EU investigation follows the announcement in October 2013 that EDF Group and the UK Government had reached in principle an agreement on the key commercial terms for an investment contract for the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

Hinkley Point C has the potential to create 25,000 jobs in the UK during its construction, including over 400 apprentices When operational it will employ 900 workers and will be able to supply up to 7% of the UK’s electricity needs with no carbon emissions.

Gary Smith and Kathleen Walker Shaw, GMB European Officer, will meet with a cabinet member for EU Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia who is in charge of energy state aid. They will also meet with a cabinet member for EU Energy Commissioner Günter Oettinger’s Cabinet who is in charge of nuclear energy. They will also meet with a UK Government official who deals with Competition, Company Law and State Aid in the UK Government’s Competitiveness and Markets section based in Brussels.

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary, said “GMB is in Brussels to press the case for jobs and the need to keep the lights on.

GMB is not apologising for what is shambolic UK government policy or the failure of the market but I am in Brussels to stress the importance of new nuclear to UK in terms of jobs and the desperate need to keep lights on.

It is essential we get the go-ahead for Hinkley Point C. Contracts for difference  and the strike price mechanisms may not be perfect, but the mechanisms for funding new nuclear are same as renewables and some of those are even more expensive than new nuclear.

GMB is concerned that there is an anti-nuclear agenda amongst some EU member states. It would seem that there is a particular focus on nuclear developments rather than other forms of low carbon electricity generation like off shore wind that depend on subsidies.

GMB wants to emphasise to the EU Commission the potential damage to investment, jobs and energy supply security unless the matter is quickly progressed – it could mean our lights go out.

We are already several years behind schedule on new nuclear. Were the EU to delay or block Hinkley Point C for some unexpected reason this would be a disaster for jobs and the associated UK nuclear industries. It cannot be overstated what a blow this would be to our energy sector and the related jobs."

End

Contact: Gary Smith 07710 618909 or Phil Whitehurst 07968 338810 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880
 

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