Unions call for nuclear industry hustings for poll candidates

Sellafield nuclear site
Sellafield nuclear site

Unions have invited candidates in the Copeland by-election to take part in a hustings on the future of the nuclear industry.

GMB, Unite and Aslef said they wanted nuclear workers and their families the have the opportunity to ask vital questions to the candidates ahead of an expected announcement which will affect funding for a new nuclear power station in the region.

Japanese giant Toshiba said it was reviewing its investment in overseas nuclear projects and is set to make an announcement next week.

Toshiba owns Westinghouse, the American-based nuclear developer whose AP1000 nuclear reactors are to be used at a planned £10 billion power plant at Moorside in Cumbria.

The Copeland parliamentary constituency is home to Moorside, as well as the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing and decommissioning site.

A spokesman for the unions said: “This hustings will give nuclear workers and their families the opportunity to ask vital questions to the by-election candidates on the future of the nuclear industry in Copeland.

“They will know that Sellafield is a major employer in the constituency and with the possibility of Moorside nuclear power station being built in the near future, bringing billions of pounds into the economy and providing employment to thousands, must be ready to answer vitally important questions on their, and their parties’ view, on nuclear power.

“The candidates will also know that the Government is threatening pension cuts for 16,000 nuclear workers throughout the country which could have an impact on this by-election.”
The hustings will be held in Whitehaven on February 15, eight days before the by-election.