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Clean-up cuts will hit nuclear new build, warns union

Clean-up cuts will hit nuclear new build, warns union

The government’s programme of mandatory efficiency reviews will have a devastating impact on the clean-up of Britain’s outdated nuclear legacy, energy union Prospect has warned.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, responsible for overseeing the clean-up of Britain’s sites, has been told by the Treasury to draw up a long list of potential funding cuts, with a final shortlist to be decided in February 2010.

“Clean-up plans at all site licence companies will be affected,” said Prospect National Secretary Mike Graham. “Cuts to the nuclear clean-up budget on the scale demanded by the Treasury – of 20 per cent or more – will bring projects to a standstill and could result in thousands of redundancies.

“Absurdly, these cuts will hit the highly skilled scientists, engineers and other specialists, whose input will be vital to ensure the success of the forthcoming new build programme.

“In addition it will cause a loss of confidence among communities who want their local nuclear legacy cleaned up. How crazy to take this route at a time when public support is needed for the success of the government’s new build programme, which is integral to meeting the challenges of climate change.

“Cutting the nuclear decommissioning budget yet again is not only morally wrong, but will add enormously to costs in the long run.

“Prospect believes that the funding model for the NDA needs a complete overhaul, to put an end to the stop-start approach and uncertainty that has already led to job losses and projects being put on hold in recent years. Joined-up thinking is what we need – instead, things are set to get even worse.”