UK union wants talks over clean-up at defunct nuclear reactors

Union leaders in the UK were today seeking talks with the British government over reports that clean-up work at a number of defunct nuclear reactors is to be halted because of funding problems.

Union leaders in the UK were today seeking talks with the British government over reports that clean-up work at a number of defunct nuclear reactors is to be halted because of funding problems.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is to publish a business plan next month which unions believe will lead to a shift in resources from work in the south of England to the Sellafield site in Cumbria.

Clean-up work will be halted at magnox reactors in Sizewell A in Suffolk, Dungeness A in Kent, Hinkley Point A in Somerset, Bradwell in Essex and Berkeley in Gloucestershire, unions believe.

An NDA spokesman would not comment on details of the business plan but admitted it was “prioritising spending towards higher hazards.”

Gary Smith, national officer of the GMB union said: “As a nation we know we need to clean up the existing nuclear power stations and build new ones for energy security and to reduce carbon emissions.

“However we are held up as the government seeks a non existent private sector solution to progress these plans. It would be better to face reality and acknowledge that public funding and ownership is the only way forward for decommissioning the existing sites and building and operating new nuclear power stations.

“In the Sellafield workforce we have a centre of excellence that can be used to progress all these plans.”

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