Nuclear funding plan call

Energy unions issue call for nuclear funding plan to be brought forward

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Unite, Prospect and the GMB have joined forces to demand government bring forward a long-promised funding solution for new nuclear.

As part of the ‘Nuclear Week’ campaign in parliament this week, which focuses attention on the nuclear industry, the three biggest energy unions Unite, Prospect and GMB have made a joint statement which argues that new nuclear will be essential to hitting the government’s net zero target and expresses concern at the delays in getting moving with new build projects.

The statement points out the risk of an impending ‘nuclear gap’ to retaining the skills and jobs necessary for the nuclear industry.

The solution, say the unions, is for government to urgently bring forward the legislation for a new funding framework for new nuclear, to enable essential progress to be made on new build projects in the coming years.

Crucially the unions say that they will support “any funding plan that allows swift progress to be made”.

The Government have already consulted on a new Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model for funding new nuclear, but the legislation to bring the model into force has not yet been brought forward.

Commenting, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said, “The time for ministerial shilly-shallying on bringing forward legislation for a comprehensive funding model for ‘new’ nuclear projects is long past.

“Nuclear is a key component in the UK’s future energy ‘mix’ if we are to meet the government’s stated goal of net zero emissions by 2050, as well as managing the soaring demand from industry, commerce and the consumer,” she added.

“The climate emergency is here now; a clear and present danger to the environment and humanity – and ‘new’ ‘nuclear is an important tool in tackling this crisis. It would also create thousands of skilled jobs as new sites are built and come on stream.”

By Shaun Noble

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