Commentating on the announcement today that the new nuclear Hinkley Point C nuclear power station will cost an additional £2.9 billion over its original budget, Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said:

“The government needs to swiftly learn the lessons from the Hinkley Point project, to ensure that the new nuclear power building programme, which is desperately needed in order to keep the lights on is able to proceed and be expanded.

“The government’s current laissez-faire policy of simply hoping that private companies will come forward to develop and build incredibly complicated crucial strategic infrastructure projects, is not fit for purpose.

“We have already witnessed private sector companies pulling out of proposed new nuclear power stations in Cumbria and Anglesey, and the government’s hand wringing response is clearly inadequate.

“EDF has had to contend - unsupported - with challenges that are simply unrealistic to expect a private sector company to deal with, for example developing a new skills base in order to be able to build and maintain a nuclear power station.

“The challenges faced by EDF demonstrate why the government must introduce a proactive industrial strategy which will allow the government to work in partnership with the private sector to develop future infrastructure projects that are desperately needed if the UK is to meet the challenges of the future.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067. Email:

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