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Monday 29th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Conrad Landin

Industrial Reporter

MINISTERS must “stop faffing” with a major nuclear power project or risk the lights going out, nuclear union GMB said yesterday.

Plans to build a new station at Hinkley Point in Somerset recently suffered yet another setback when the government announced a new review of the scheme.

But general union GMB spoke out as Vincent de Rivaz, chief of French state-owned energy giant EDF, said the firm still had full confidence in the project.

“Hinkley Point will have a lasting impact on our industrial capacity and will create thousands of jobs and hundreds of apprenticeships,” Mr de Rivaz said.

The scheme involves a £6 billion investment from China, which has prompted concerns on grounds of “national security” from Tories.

It has also been opposed by French unions due to its high cost and threat to jobs there, while environmentalists have pointed to the dangers presented by nuclear energy.

But GMB national secretary Justin Bowden warned: “The faffing must stop now and the go-ahead on Hinkley must be given.

“It might be 80°F outside at the moment, but winter is on its way and GMB has repeatedly warned that if we have a cold one then the growing holes in our apology for an energy policy will result in power cuts.
“Everyone gets that, over time, sensibly sourced and UK-produced renewable energy sources makes sense.

“But wishful thinking doesn’t generate electricity and until there is a scientific breakthrough on carbon capture or solar storage, then nuclear and gas are the only reliable, and cost effective, shows in town.”