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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Union chief wants geology tests for nuclear dump to go ahead

A leading union boss will today call for geological investigations in west Cumbria to find a suitable site for a nuclear waste dump be carried out.

Len McCluskey photo
Len McCluskey

In January, Cumbria County Council voted against the tests, despite Copeland and Allerdale councils being in favour, effectively halting the process.

Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, is today due to visit Sellafield, on Britain’s Energy Coast, to see how businesses are weathering the recession and call for a better deal for the area to help keep the lights on in years to come.

He said that there must be no more of the unacceptable political decisions that have let this region down.

“The failure of the county council to allow even a geological survey into the feasibility of nuclear waste disposal for Sellafield pitches workers and this community into limbo,” he said.

“To keep the lights on, we will need a mixed fuel economy. Safe nuclear has to be part of that. But if our politicians will not take the difficult decisions then how can we encourage investment into the new energy plants we need?

“This coast is Britain’s Energy Coast. Its place in our economic well-being is clear. This workforce makes a towering contribution to the regional economy.

“I therefore urge the decision-makers here in Cumbria to step up to the plate too, because one thing is clear, this region needs these jobs and needs the skills they bring to thrive.”

The union leader will also visit Barrow to call for a new submarine fleet to be built in the town’s shipyard to help safeguard work and jobs there.

He said: “Building submarines is critical to retain tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs and is fundamental to the survival of Barrow.

“The skills of this workforce and the contribution they make to this region and our country are exceptional. It is important that there is commitment across the political parties to retain our world-leading technological advantage by delivering the replacement for the Vanguard to Barrow.”

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