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22 May 2012
GOVERNMENT SHOULD USE ENERGY BILL TO SET UP NATIONALISED NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY TO DELIVER NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS
Since the state has to step in to guarantee prices for return on investment why not go the whole hog and have fully accountable nationalised delivery in the nuclear sector says GMB
GMB, the union for energy workers, commented on the draft Energy Bill published today.
Gary Smith GMB National Secretary for energy and utilities said “Big investment in the energy infrastructure is required. However this draft bill is simply another statement of intent that doesn't seem to clarify a lot.
The government has not been honest with what is happening with the cost of energy. The fact is people will struggle to heat their homes this winter as gas prices continue to rise. Nuclear and renewables in particular are not cheap ways to produce electricity and using electricity for space heating is particularly expensive. At the same time the flagship policy around insulating homes is floundering. There is nothing here in place to protect consumers from spiralling bills.
Since the state has to step in to guarantee prices for return on investment why not go the whole hog and have fully accountable nationalised delivery in the nuclear sector.
The collapse in March 2012 of the Horizon nuclear consortium due to the decision of RWE and Eon to withdraw from nuclear new build has left the government's energy strategy in tatters. See notes to Editors below for GMB statement.
One obvious way forward is for Government to re-task the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and re-name it as the Nuclear Development Authority and that this body take over the Horizon project and bring on stream six nuclear power stations. That would be action rather than more statements of intent like this draft bill.
We need a nationalised Nuclear Development Authority because in terms of the massive investment needed the fact is British Industry is not match fit to benefit. Much of money paid by UK households to heat their homes will be spent on components that will be built abroad unless there are major changes. The experience in North Sea oil and gas shows that how British engineering industries can be global players. The opportunities in the nuclear industry are similar.
GMB press statement 29th March 2012
UK GOVERNMENT ENERGY STRATEGY IN TATTERS AS EON AND RWE PULL OUT OF BUILDING NEW NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS IN THE UK SAYS GMB
The Government must act and now as an urgent discussion involving Government, the industry and unions is needed about where we go from here
GMB, the union for energy workers, responded to today's announcement from Eon and RWE that they were pulling out of developing two new nuclear power stations in Britain.
Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for energy said, “The Government's energy strategy is in tatters. It is really bad news in terms of construction jobs and the potential employment that would have been created in the UK manufacturing supply chain.
New nuclear is an essential component in keeping the lights on in the UK. We can't keep extending the life span of existing nuclear stations and renewables cannot fill the gap on their own.
The Government must act and now. We need an urgent discussion involving Government, the industry and unions about where we go from here.
David Cameron announced a partnership in nuclear with France during a recent visit to Paris. This is nonsense. Britain is going to be a bit player in what is a growing global industry. It simply isn't good enough for Government to sit back and hope it's all going to come good.
The experience in North Sea oil and gas shows that how British engineering industries can be global players. The opportunities in the nuclear industry are similar.
We believe the time has come for a debate about a proper Anglo-French alliance in nuclear in which Britain is at the fore. We should be looking at trying to create an Airbus in the nuclear industry and not announcing what are meaningless partnerships.”