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Nuclear power only option, say Cumbrian campaigners

Nuclear power is the only serious low-carbon option “to keep the country’s lights on,” campaigners have claimed.

Sellafield campaign photo
From left, Joe Murdock, chairman of Sellafield Workers Campaign (SWC), Steve Nicholson, communications officer SWC, Tom Price, MD Sellafield Ltd, Craig Dobson, secretary SWC, Kevin Coyne from UNITE and Copeland MP Jamie Reed

The Sellafield Workers Campaign (SWC) launched its manifesto for the growth and sustainability of the nuclear site – and the 10,000 people who work there.

In the document, Sellafield at the Heart of a Low Carbon Energy Future, SWC calls on the government to “maintain a clear and unequivocal commitment” to the site, and outlines how it hopes this can be achieved.

Kevin Coyne, the national officer for the Unite union who also spoke on behalf of GMB and Prospect, said: “We call upon the UK to recognise the valuable role that Sellafield plays, and will continue to play in the future.

“Nuclear is the only viable energy source to keep the lights on.”

The campaign is specifically calling for three main points to be addressed, added Mr Coyne.

  • To ensure there is nuclear new-build at Sellafield
  • To effectively re-use the stockpile of plutonium current stored at Sellafield
  • To begin a new search into a geological disposal facility (GDF).

He said: “The aim is to secure long-term employment at Sellafield, to build hope for the future, to bring in investment, and to ensure the lifeblood of West Cumbria, and Cumbria as a whole, is maintained for future generations.”

The document, launched at the Energus facility at Lillyhall, will now form the basis of discussions between SWC, the site’s management, government ministers and other bodies that make up Britain’s Energy Coast.

Further recommendations include establishing a local planning authority to have sole jurisdiction to Sellafield, increasing investment in research and development on the site, and granting the site enhanced status as the UK’s ‘National Nuclear Waste Management and Development Centre’.

Craig Dobson, the secretary of SWC, said: “This list of demands is the way forward. A high priority is job creation, and to stop the migration of young people from this area.

“It’s time for West Cumbria to be proud about what we have to offer.”

Further support for the manifesto came from Jamie Reed and Sir Tony Cunningham, MPs for Copeland and Workington respectively, Sellafield Ltd’s managing director Tony Price, as well as the NDA and Britain’s Energy Coast.

Have your say

With respect ANON, the geological waste dump does not 'have to be in Cumbria' the original rules the public were given for all the reprocessing was that after the reprocessing ALL the waste would be returned to the originator. If this had taken place, the West Cumbria would be more acceptble to new investment for rel jobs.

Yes, nuclear power is needed. If the base load is not available, then lights and kettles will not work. But a power station is less bad than a nuclear waste dump.

Posted by Orange peel on 4 September 2013 at 12:30

Marrianne I am disgusted at how low you will stoop. The cancer compensation scheme was a deal negotiated by responsible trade unions representing their members in the nuclear sector. The vast majority of payments were made to those working on site in the fifties and early sixties. To qualify for a potential payout the criteria agreed was around 25 percent of the legal limit so you are 4 times more likely to be paid out under a negotiated scheme than by the law of the land.
Without naming anyone the one family that qualified for a payment under the union agreement didn't accept the payment then went to court lost their case and didn't receive a penny. They would have got thousands under the agreement you are so critical of.

Posted by Johnnyquest on 3 September 2013 at 22:26

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