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Fri, 4 December 2020

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GMB welcomes announcement that gives the go ahead for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station

GMB

3 min read Partner content

GMB is delighted that the first of the badly needed fleet of new nuclear power stations is going ahead.


GMB, the union for energy and construction workers, welcomes reports that the go ahead for Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant has finally been given.

Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary for energy, said "GMB is delighted that the first of the badly needed fleet of new nuclear power stations will finally begin construction. This is the right decision for the country and the government is right to ignore the begrudgers and naysayers.

Having secure low carbon electricity, for the 61 days per year when there is no renewable energy sources available, is crucial if we are to meet our energy needs and reduce our dependency on foreign imports of power. (See notes to editors for details of dates in year to 31st August 2016 when there was little wind power available).

With Hinkley now confirmed, attention must rightly shift to the other new nuclear power stations - including Bradwell in Essex and Sizewell in Suffolk - which we badly need across the country. The solution however is not to handover the replacement of vital UK infrastructure lock, stock and barrel to China. GMB strongly cautions that the funding of nuclear developments should always be kept totally separate from the regulation of the design and construction of new nuclear facilities and the transport and safeguarding of nuclear and radioactive materials. Chinese pop-up power stations are not a solution on their own."

Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer for construction, said "After all the delays and procrastination we have finally got there. Not only will the £18bn Hinkley Point C project provide 7% of the UK’s energy needs and create at least 25,000 jobs during its construction and another 900 during operation, but 65% of the project’s construction value will be placed with the UK supply chain.

Along with this is an agreed minimum 1,000 apprenticeship and adult trainees, creating a skill training level that will put other UK projects to shame.

This project is vital to kick start the UK economy post Brexit and will now show the world that UK PLC is open for business and ready for the challenges to come. For Bradwell, the Chinese have to first get a generic design assessment, then a nuclear licence, and then most of all make assurances that even though they are the manufacturer of the reactor that the UK supply chain will be utilised as on Hinkley Point C. Those agreements are to be used as a minimum standard. GMB will not stand by and watch any discrimination against either the UK supply chain or UK workers. This will be a fight we will face in the near future."

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