Workers at Sellafield claim the facility is vital for the local economy

Sellafield workers call for new nuclear plant

Workers at the Sellafield nuclear site are urging the Government to support a new nuclear power station at the site.

The campaigners claim that without Sellafield, which they claim will generate more than £1bn of revenue for the local supply chain over the next five years, Cumbria would become an “economic wilderness”.

As a result they have released a three-point plan to attract fresh investment and sustain and develop 10,000 jobs at the site that includes the building a new nuclear power station at Sellafield.

They also want the Government to explore the potential of re-using existing plutonium stocks at the site for energy generation as well as working with local councils in Cumbria that backed the failed proposals for a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste in the area.

Kevin Coyne, national officer of the Unite union, said: "Sellafield is strategically important to the UK and it is crucial for the economic survival of Cumbria. Without Sellafield, Cumbria would become an economic wilderness while Britain would struggle to meet its low-carbon energy needs.

"That's why the Sellafield Workers Campaign is calling for a three-point plan for a sustained and coordinated investment strategy, including a commitment to a new nuclear power station at the site.

"However, it is also crucial that we begin a new search for a geological disposal facility and we examine ways of effectively re-using the stockpiles of plutonium currently being stored at Sellafield."

A report from the Public Accounts Committee in February found that decommissioning the nuclear waste storage facility at Sellafield will now cost £67.5bn and the cost is continuing to rise.

A Department for Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "Sellafield has hosted nuclear waste facilities for decades, and Cumbria is essential to nuclear in the UK.

"Government will ensure that the conditions are right for investment in new nuclear power plants. However, ultimately it is a commercial decision for the developers as to where the new plants will be located.

"The Government remains firmly committed to geological disposal as the right policy for the long-term safe, responsible and cost-effective management of higher-activity radioactive waste from legacy and future nuclear power stations.

"We are reviewing the site selection aspects of the managing radioactive waste safely programme, and intend to launch a public consultation on proposals for a revised siting process in the autumn."

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