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LOOMING MOORSIDE COLLAPSE MUST BE REVERSED

Monday, November 5, 2018

For immediate release – Monday 5 November 2018

 

GMB SAYS LOOMING MOORSIDE COLLAPSE MUST BE REVERSED BY NEWLY FORMED NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

 

A golden opportunity exists to take control and develop a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) in a part of this country which has a groundbreaking nuclear past that can be repeated in the future says union

 

GMB, the energy union, says the ill-fated Moorside Nuclear reactor build must be reversed by a newly formed Nuclear Development Agency, tasked but the government to build a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) on the West Cumbria site.

 

The collapse of the project to build the vital new multibillion pound nuclear plant at Moorside in Cumbria moved a step closer last week after talks with a potential buyer stalled [1]

 

GMB said the Government now had an opportunity to push for the site to be used for development of a UK small modular reactor in a part of the country that has a groundbreaking nuclear past which can be repeated in future.

 

This could be a better option than the taxpayer effectively underwriting corporate land banking which would leave the site unused, the union said.

 

GMB said the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority needs to be scrapped 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:

 

 “A new nuclear power station at Moorside in West Cumbria is vital for the future energy security of the country and the economy of West Cumbria.

 

“That project now hangs in the balance because politicians were foolish enough to rely on foreign companies and governments for our key energy infrastructure needs. Government must now act to secure our energy future.

 

 “A golden opportunity exists to take control and develop a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) in a part of this country which has a groundbreaking nuclear past that can be repeated in the future.

 

"The lessons from the collapse of Toshiba should have been well and truly learned long ago - relying on foreign companies and countries for our essential energy needs is utterly irresponsible.

 

 “The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) must be re-tasked and renamed as the Nuclear Development Agency to take over the site and develop a new SMR nuclear power station at Moorside.

 

"As well as eradicating the uncertainty and securing future electricity supply, a newly formed Nuclear Development Authority taking control at Moorside would make complete sense for taxpayers. It is time for the Government to step up.”

 

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] Crunch talks to rule on Cumbria nuclear plant, Sunday Times

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/crunch-talks-to-rule-on-cumbria-nuclear-plant-gvtg2ztrh

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