The leader of the union representing 21,000 workers in the nuclear decommissioning and energy supply industry has called on all parties involved in negotiations to redouble their efforts to reach agreement on a strike price for electricity generated by the planned Hinkley Point C in Somerset.
Alan Leighton, the National Secretary of Prospect, made his comments following today's announcement from EDF that it plans to scale back on preparatory work for the project and reduce the number of people working on it in a bid to control costs.
"Our members' fear that any delay in the preparation work could impede or delay EDF's ability to bring the project to fruition once agreement has been reached.Prospect is committed to an appropriate energy mix for the UK, including gas and renewables, but it is undoubtedly the case that nuclear and nuclear new build will be pivotal if we are to achieve the twin goals of capacity and security of supply.
– Alan Leighton, National Secretary, Prospect Union
We hope that this announcement will encourage all involved in the talks to redouble their efforts to agree a strike price. Particularly as it comes so soon after the recent warning from outgoing Ofgem head, Alistair Buchanan, that we are facing an imminent capacity crunch in the UK unless urgent action is taken.Without an agreement we risk losing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to meet the country's decarbonisation targets and help build a new economy that provides good quality jobs and growth for the UK."
EDF Energy has revealed that it plans to reduce its workforce at the site of the proposed Hinkley Point C project.
The announcement comes as the company continues to negotiate with the Government on how much it will be paid for electricity when the new station eventually goes on stream.
The company says this will help it to control costs "ahead of securing the financing necessary for the project."
Lord King, who as Tom King was MP for Bridgwater from 1970 to 2001, recalls the impact of Hinkley Point nuclear power station on the area. He was MP during the construction of the second (B) station and shadow energy minister in the late 1970s.
Garry Graham, of the Prospect union which represents workers in the nuclear industry, welcomes today's announcement giving planning approval for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
For many families in the area Hinkley means jobs. Our reporter Robert Murphy has met a family which has had two generations work in the power plant - and may have a third in years to come.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey addressing the House of Commons today (Tuesday 19 March).
– Ian Liddell-Grainger MP (Con, Bridgwater)
This is a phonemonally good day for Bridgwater and West Somerset. We are Hinkley ready.
The Labour Party says it strongly supports the Government's decision to approve the Hinkley C plans. Caroline Flint MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, is addressing the House of Commons.
The Government has today (Tuesday 19 March) given the go-ahead for a new nuclear power plant to be built at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The energy secretary Ed Davey made the announcement in the House of Commons.
– John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace
It will lock a generation of consumers into higher energy bills, via a strike price that's expected to be double the current price of electricity, and it will distort energy policy by displacing newer, cleaner, cheaper technologies. With companies now saying the price of offshore wind will drop so much it will be on par with nuclear by 2020, there is no rationale for allowing Hinkley C to proceed. Giving it the green light when there is no credible plan for dealing with the waste could also be in breach of the law.