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Scotland No New Nuclear Stations

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Salmond’s “Pie In The Sky Energy Policy” Risks Scotland Missing Out On New Nuclear Power Stations As Toshiba Westinghouse Acquires 60% Stake In West Cumbria Site GMB Warns

New nuclear stations are likely at Hinkley Point, Oldbury, Wylfa, Heysham, West Cumbria, Hartlepool, Sizewell and Bradwell, as unlike Scotland, they are getting on with the planning and investment issues says GMB.

GMB Scotland, the union for energy workers in Scotland, is warning that Scotland runs the risk of missing out on a new generation of nuclear power stations as there are no plans to replace Hunterston B and Torness. Both are now due to be decommissioned in 2023.

This warning comes in the wake the announcement yesterday (14th Jan) that that Toshiba Westinghouse has acquired a majority (60%) stake in the NuGen New Nuclear Build Project at Moorside in West Cumbria. See notes to editors for GMB press release on Toshiba Westinghouse acquisition.

This comes as the EU begins a formal investigation into the deal between EDF and the UK Government to build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. EDF run the two nuclear power stations in Scotland.

Also in January this year the Office for Nuclear Regulation announced it is taking its safety assessment of Hitachi’s nuclear reactor design for its Horizon nuclear power project in Wylfa in Anglesey to the second stage.

Jim Moohan, GMB Scotland Senior Organiser, said “This progress towards new stations in Anglesey and West Cumbria, following on from the go ahead for Hinkley Point C, should serve as wake-up call.

There is a serious risk of Scotland missing out on the next generation of new nuclear power stations due to Salmond's pie in the sky energy policy.

It now looks likely that the next generation of power stations will be built at Hinkley Point, Oldbury, Wylfa in Anglesey, Heysham, West Cumbria, Hartlepool, Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex as they are getting on with the planning and investment issues.

By contrast the First Minister is hanging on to the coattails of the UK Government on the nuclear question without giving clear indication to the Scottish people what safeguards he has in place for the long term. 

The renewables factor will not sustain our energy requirements. It is time the pressure groups and politicians who continually put down the nuclear sector come clean as to how they would address our energy needs in the long term. 

The stark reality is that Hunterston, commissioned in 1976, and Torness, commissioned in 1988, will have to be decommissioned in 2023 after four decades of successful operation. 

The First Minister and the opponents totally ignored this history of success.  The skill loss at these stations will be devastating to the Scottish economy unless we get on with making a replacement decisions.

The First Minister has to come clean on his strategy. This must be supported by substance and facts, with supporting evidence of how the Scottish Government intends to protect our energy supply and with what means they intend to carry this out.

GMB is clear that a nuclear build programme is vital to the Scottish economy. It has a proven track record of clean and carbon free vital for the balanced energy policy Scotland needs.

There is a fantastic opportunity for job growth within the area which will create a new wealth of apprenticeships for the future with technical experience and the creation of thousands of jobs within the construction sector alongside a multi-billion pound boost for the economy.

The other energy giants within the Scottish economy continue to look at ways of reducing the carbon emission to adhere to EU legislation.  There is a clear message coming through that nuclear with its track record is vital for the continuation of a viable economy within Scotland and­ as part of the UK sector.

Safety within the nuclear sector within the UK has been dramatically improved from the outset of the establishment of that industry and continues to thrive on as zero tolerance on risks on health and safety.”

End

Contact: Jim Moohan Tel: 0141 352 8140 Mobile: 07885 868405 or Gary Smith 07710 618909 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to editors

1 Text of press release released by GMB on 14th January 2014

TOSHIBA WESTINGHOUSE ACQUIRING 60% STAKE IN WEST CUMBRIA SITE WILL BE HUGE BOOST TO ECONOMY IF NUCLEAR POWER STATION GOES AHEAD SAYS GMB

We need Assurances over connections to the National Grid and we will want talks with the companies involved to ensure that the construction and  manufacturing supply chain and the local community benefit from this project says GMB

GMB, the union for workers in the nuclear sector, commented on the announcement that that Toshiba Westinghouse has acquired a majority (60%) stake in the NuGen New Nuclear Build Project at Moorside project in West Cumbria. See notes to editors for press release from Toshiba Westinghouse.

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for Energy, said "West Cumbria has skills in the nuclear sector that are second to none. This would be a huge boost to the local economy if this power station gets the go ahead.

I have spent the last two days meeting Brussels officials on new nuclear as we need the EU Commission to reach a speedy conclusion on the competition inquiry to get these projects moving. GMB has secured assurances that the EU Commission will expedite their work speedily but rigorously.

We need government assurances over connections to the National Grid and we will obviously want talks with the companies involved to ensure that the construction and  manufacturing supply chain and the local community benefit from this project.

GMB has secured ground breaking agreements on construction at Hinkley Point C and they provide a great platform to move any project forward. We need to start talks soon with Toshiba Westinghouse to get negotiations underway for such an agreement for West Cumbria."

End

Notes to editors

Copy of press release issued 14th Jan 2014

WESTINGHOUSE TAKES NEXT STEPS TO BUILD THREE  AP1000® NUCLEAR REACTORS IN UK WITH NUGEN

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 14, 2014 –Westinghouse Electric Company today announced that Toshiba Corporation has agreed in principle to buy a 60 percent share in the NuGeneration Limited (NuGen) Moorside project in West Cumbria, U.K., and they intend to move forward with the AP1000 new-build project in partnership with GDF SUEZ.

The agreement provides that three Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors with a combined capacity of 3.4 GW will be built on the U.K. site. The first unit is expected to be online in 2024, helping to support the U.K. government’s low carbon and energy security objectives at a time when existing power plants are retiring and low-carbon generation is required to meet national and international commitments. When fully operational, the Moorside site is expected to deliver approximately seven percent of the electricity requirements in the U.K. 

The construction of these new units will create thousands of skilled jobs over the next decade. The deal is expected to significantly boost local, regional and national U.K. economies, with a large portion of the project accessible to the U.K. supply chain. Westinghouse Springfields, a U.K.-licensed fuel manufacturing facility near Preston in Northwest England, will manufacture the fuel for the new AP1000 reactors. The facility currently manufactures fuel for the entire U.K. advanced gas-cooled reactor fleet, and pressurized water reactor fuel for export.

In commenting on the announcement, Westinghouse President and CEO Danny Roderick said: “This is another example of the strong commitment of Toshiba and Westinghouse to serve the global nuclear energy industry and enable countries and regions of the world to achieve their carbon-reduction goals. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the owners of NuGen, as well as nuclear suppliers in Cumbria and throughout the United Kingdom.”

This is the second major agreement signed by Westinghouse recently, having entered into an exclusive agreement with Bulgaria Energy Holding in December 2013 for AP1000 technology. “We have a strong commitment to Europe and to providing the world’s most advanced technology, the AP1000 nuclear plant design, so customers can achieve cost-effective energy security and diversity while not damaging the environment with carbon and greenhouse gas-emitting sources in Europe,” said Mr. Roderick. Westinghouse also was selected as the front-runner in the Czech Republic’s new nuclear unit tender in 2013 and awaits a final decision on that project.

Jeffrey Benjamin, Westinghouse Senior Vice President, Nuclear Power Plants, said, “This project supports the U.K. government’s policy for new nuclear development – the timetable to operation, financial robustness, proven technology, and the project’s overall benefit to the U.K. economy.

The global expertise and commitment of Toshiba, Westinghouse’s world-leading technology vendor status, and GDF SUEZ’s pioneering expertise as a European nuclear operator are a powerful combination. We know that this plant design is the right choice for the future, the right choice for Cumbria and the U.K.,” he said.

In 2011, the U.K. regulators completed their planned assessment of the AP1000 reactor design and issued interim Design Acceptance Confirmation (iDAC) and interim Statement of Design Acceptability (iSODA).

Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world's pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world. Westinghouse supplied the world's first pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa., U.S. Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world's operating nuclear plants, including more than 50 percent of those in Europe. AP1000 is a trademark of Westinghouse Electric Company LLC. All rights reserved.

Toshiba is a world-leading diversified manufacturer, solutions provider and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products and systems. Toshiba Group brings innovation and imagination to a wide range of businesses: digital products, including LCD TVs, notebook PCs, retail solutions and multifunction printers; electronic devices, including semiconductors, storage products and materials; industrial and social infrastructure systems, including power generation systems, smart community solutions, medical systems and escalators & elevators; and home appliances.

Toshiba was founded in 1875, and today operates a global network of more than 590 consolidated companies, with 206,000 employees worldwide and annual sales surpassing 5.8 trillion yen (US $61 billion).

GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: independent power production, liquefied natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency services. GDF SUEZ employs 138,200 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €82 billion in 2012. The Group is listed on the Paris, Brussels and Luxembourg stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe and Euronext Vigeo (World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120 and France 20).

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