The progress made in the construction of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station should act as a spur for ministers to push forward with other UK nuclear power projects, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Friday 28 June).

Unite was commenting on the news today that Hinkley Point in Somerset has hit its biggest milestone so far, with the construction of the concrete base for the first reactor.

French company EDF Energy is building Hinkley Point, with a stake from Chinese state-owned investor CGN.

Unite national officer for energy Peter McIntosh said: “This is a major milestone for Hinkley Point and clearly demonstrates that the UK’s workforce can deliver on major infrastructure projects.

“This excellent news should act as spur for ministers to ensure that Sizewell C in Suffolk and Bradwell B in Essex are well-supported and that the lessons learnt by the construction at Hinkley Point C are passed on to enable these projects to deliver real savings.

“They should also look at resurrecting the nuclear projects at Moorside in Cumbria which Toshiba withdrew from last November and Wylfa in Anglesey where Hitachi suspended construction work earlier this year.

“For the UK government to meet its climate change commitments which it signed up to with the 2016 Paris Agreement, then nuclear power has to be part of the low carbon energy mix.

“The government’s past record over energy policy has been muddled and confused and it now needs to regain strategic focus.

“The positives generated by Hinkley Point C include the creation of almost 4,000 jobs and just as significant has been the hiring of 430 apprenticeships out of the 1,000 promised by EDF Energy – these high grade apprenticeships give young people real sustainable jobs and a bright future.  

“We should congratulate EDF Energy as Hinkley Point C will be a key component in ensuring the UK meets its climate change obligations which is especially apt as MPs recently approved a motion to declare an environment and climate emergency.

“EDF is delivering on the commitments it made on jobs, apprenticeships and using the UK supply chain.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065 Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.