Comprehensive investment in the nuclear industry is one of the levers to kick-start the UK’s post-pandemic economy, with the promise of a low carbon future and the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.
Unite was commenting on today’s (June 24) blueprint for a nuclear future – “Forty by ’50: A Nuclear Roadmap” – produced by the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA).
The NIA predicts £33bn of added economic value and large-scale decarbonisation are possible, with the creation of 300,000 jobs and up to 40 per cent ‘clean’ power on the cards by 2050.
Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said, “We must look to the evolving shape of the UK economy in a post-Covid-19 world, and to where we are going to create the necessary jobs and apprenticeships to kick-start an economic revival.
“Comprehensive investment in ‘new’ nuclear will pave the way to such a future and also provide the low-carbon energy that people are demanding as we tackle the adverse impacts that we can witness already from climate change,” she added.
“We back the NIA’s six-point blueprint for a sustainable and safe nuclear future and urge ministers to articulate their long-term commitment to a new era for nuclear power where it plays a vital role in the energy ‘mix’ – without this commitment, it is difficult to see how the UK can meet its ‘net zero’ pledge by 2050.”
Last month, Unite endorsed the application by French energy giant EDF to the Planning Inspectorate for a development consent order (DCO) for Sizewell C on the Suffolk coast, with the prospect of 25,000 jobs during construction and 1,000 apprenticeships. It would also provide 900 operational jobs during the 60 years it is expected to be in service.
By Shaun Noble