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Wyfla Collapse Would Leave UK Energy Plan In Tatters

Friday, January 11, 2019

COLLAPSE OF WYLFA NUCLEAR POWER STATION PROJECT COULD REDUCE UK’S ENERGY PLAN TO TATTERS ACCORDING TO GMB UNION

The Union is renewing its call on the UK Government to be prepared to step in to save the project.

GMB, the energy union, is calling on the UK government to step in to ensure that Construction of the £16billion Wylfa nuclear power plant in North Wales goes ahead.

The cancellation by the Board of Japanese company Hitachi is expected on Monday, and the GMB says it will leave the UK’s energy plans “reduced to tatters”. [1]

It is the second time that GMB has called on the government to be prepared to take action over Wylfa, after the future of the project became less clear back in December [2]. 

The Union says that the UK needs at least six new Nuclear Power Station’s to meet the UK’s future Energy demands and green targets, making it’s Vital that the UK Government be prepared step in to save the project.

Without Government backing, the Union fear that the project could meet the same fate as Moorside Nuclear Reactor, a proposed project in Cumbria that is stalled after private funding fell through and the government failed to find a new backer.[3]

Britain’s existing fleet of nuclear power stations provides 20% of the country’s electricity needs and begins to go off line from the middle of the next decade, by which time the current coal fleet will also have ceased production. 

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. [4] 

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: 

“If the mood music from Tokyo ahead of Hitachi’s Board Meeting on Monday is correct, then without urgent UK government intervention, this country’s new nuclear energy plans will be reduced to tatters. 

“Government must act and step in now, picking up the reins and taking whatever funding stake is necessary, to ensure Wylfa goes ahead on time.

“Britain needs at least six new ultra low carbon nuclear power stations for the guaranteed electricity they can provide. Wind and solar on their own cannot keep the country’s lights on, our homes heated and the economy powered. For that, we need nuclear and gas as well.

"As GMB has pointed out time and again, relying on foreign companies for vital energy infrastructure is plain daft.”

ENDS

Contact: Justin Bowden on 07710 631351 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at press.office@gmb.org.uk 

Notes to editors: 

[1] Hitachi set to abandon new nuclear plant in Wales- https://www.ft.com/content/80b1c286-1589-11e9-a581-4ff78404524e 

[2] Urgent Clarification Needed Over Wyfla http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/clarification-over-wylfa

[3] Response To Moorside Crisis - http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/latest-moorside-crisis 

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