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GMB Union: Sellafield "will not agree a way forward"

Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing plant Credit: ITV News Border

A spokesman for the GMB Union says Sellafield "will not agree a way forward" after failing to carry out an agreement made in January last year to increase monitors' salaries due to the responsibility and accountability of the role.

"The industrial action taken today by the monitors at Sellafield was initiated by the company’s failure to carry out the agreement made in January 2014, when an independent panel decided that the monitors' role, because of the responsibility and accountability, warranted an upgrade to Band 4.

"It is 18 months now since that decision was made and the company will still not agree a way forward.

"We have informed the company that we are willing to sit down at any time to try and resolve this situation, but it seems that they are reluctant to do this.

The quote from the Director of Stakeholder Relations this morning ‘that the company could not always guarantee safety’ is something that causes the GMB great concerns. We provided 17 monitors to make sure that we were in a position to respond to any emergency and guarantee the safety of all personnel on the site."

– Joe Murdock, GMB Convenor

Four-hundred monitors, who carry out radiation checks at the nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria, are taking part in today's industrial action.

Sellafield's management say contingency plans are in place and that the strike has caused "low key" disruption.

Stakeholder Relations Director at Sellafield Ltd, Rory O'Neill, says the company believes its workers are "fairly recognised for what they do."

The GMB Union says more than 97% of members at the plant voted in favour of industrial action over the current pay deal which, Sellafield says, is "appropriate."

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Staff at Sellafield nuclear in Cumbria nuclear plant vote to strike

Sellafield workers will go on strike next week. Credit: ITV Border

Hundreds of staff who carry out radiation checks at the nuclear reprocessing plant in Cumbria have voted to go on strike.

The GMB union has announced nearly four hundred health physics monitors responsible for checking radiation levels on staff and equipment are walking out next Tuesday 28 July in a long-running dispute over pay.

Sellafield bosses say the site will continue to be managed safely and securely throughout the industrial action.

The company, based in Seascale, employs approximately 10,000 people and reprocesses and stores nuclear fuel from around the world.

Anti-nuclear groups respond to new power plant plan

The Moorside site next to Sellafield Credit: ITV Border

Anti-nuclear groups have slammed NuGen's announcement confirming Moorside as the site where the company intends to build Europe's biggest new nuclear power plant.

Radiation Free Lakeland's Marianne Birkby says the land next to Sellafield was originally designated as a 'buffer zone' to prevent further development and that the new development will 'double the terrorist target of Sellafield'.

"The land acquired by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority was bought out of the public purse as a buffer zone around Sellafield to ensure that there would be no new hazardous development or population increase near Sellafield.

"Protections have been ditched to accommodate the nuclear industry and our nuclear-obsessed government who plan to double the terrorist target of Sellafield with nuclear sprawl on green fields adjacent to the flood plain of the river Ehen. The only protections now are for the nuclear industry at the expense of Cumbria and the wider environment. What other industry would be allowed to operate with nominal public liability in the event of contamination accident?"

– Marianne Birkby, Radiation Free Lakeland

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'Mass of plutonium at Sellafield for decades ahead'

There is a massive store of plutonium stored at Sellafield. Credit: ITV News

A report on how to deal with some of the 100 tonnes of plutonium stored at Sellafield is due by the end of the year.

The minister for Energy and Climate Change, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, told the House of Lords there would be a mass of plutonium at Sellafield for many decades ahead.

We are expecting, at the year end, to have the options put in front of us by the nuclear decommissioning authority, and then move to a decision.

But he will be aware that, even when a decision's made, there will be a mass of plutonium at Sellafield for many decades ahead.'

– Lord Bourne, Minister for Energy and Climate Change

National award for Sellafield apprentices

The Sellafield Ltd Brathey Challenge group Credit: Sellafield Ltd

A team from Sellafield have been named Apprentice Team of the Year, jointly with a group from Scarborough, in the 2015 Brathey Apprentice Challenge competition.

The teams from Sellafield Ltd and Dale Power Solutions both raised money for charity over the course of the year.

A total of 50 groups and 700 apprentices were involved in the competition, and they visited schools and were involved in community projects, as well as raising money.

The Sellafield team raised nearly £9,000 for North Lakes Foodbank, and also put plenty of volunteering hours in.

They came joint top with the group from Dale Power Solutions, who raised around £2,000 for St Catherine's Hospice and helped refurbish a local shelter.

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