Trudy Harrison has visited Hinkley Point Power Station with Sellafield unions to discuss future opportunities for nuclear new build and decommissioning in West Cumbria.
Yesterday, representatives from GMB, Unite and Prospect joined Trudy in Somerset to tour the sites and learn more about the latest project, Hinkley Point C, 3,200 megawatt power plant project.
Mrs Harrison, said: “New nuclear will bring enormous opportunities for Copeland, I want to work with all unions so have invited Prospect, GMB and Unite to join me. It’s really important that we work together to realise the true potential.
“I have been speaking with Ian Liddell-Granger, MP for the Hinkley Point site, he commends the fact that the Hinkley Point C construction project has benefitted the community. Infrastructure improvements, skills development, the visitor economy and obviously employment have all been.”
The visit hosted by EDF Energy, followed Mrs Harrison’s first Westminster Hall Debate on the Nuclear Sector Deal in which she asked government for a secure future, not just for decommissioning but also research and development and Moorside new build.
Mrs Harrison said that it is now more important than ever to have strategic partnership meetings about how we can support NuGen.
She added: “We must grasp these opportunities, capture the moment and make the difference for our area as we ourselves plan for new nuclear. Now is not the time to be shy or separatist, we must be ambitious in our vision and work collectively to deliver action for Copeland.”
She also commended NuGen and, CEO Tom Samson for his “relentless and rigorous commitment to Cumbria” and will continue to support the company to develop Moorside.
The visit also included a tour of the Construction Skills & Innovation Centre at Bridgewater and Taunton College, a £1.5m investment from EDF Energy which offers a new civil engineering curriculum including training in excavation, ground works, concrete pouring, formwork and steel fixing.
The facility is set to play a crucial role in training the future construction workforce for Hinkley Point C – which is set to provide low carbon electricity for 5 million homes.
Peter Evans, station director of Hinkley Point B, said: "It was great to have Trudy visit the Hinkley sites today, along with Trades Union representatives from Sellafield.
"There are several issues of common interest between us here in Somerset and her Copeland constituency.
“Trudy was keenly interested in how we involve the local community with our existing and new build sites to ensure that the local area benefits fully from the industrial investment."
Steve Nicolson, Sellafield Ltd Branch Secretary, said: “Visiting the Hinckley Point C project will give us a leading insight into the successes achieved by EDF and Sedgemoor council, in a short period of time.
“Moorside is critical for the economic future of Copeland, bringing highly skilled, well paid employment opportunities to the area, alongside much needed financial community benefits.
“The Sellafield Unions are delighted to be involved in the delegation which has been organised by Copeland MP Trudy Harrison, as we continue working together supporting Sellafield and our communities.”
Earlier this month, Mrs Harrison praised the Government for ’demonstrating its recognition of our nuclear sector’ during an Urgent Question following the launch of the Nuclear Sector Deal last month.
The £200 million deal aims to secure the UK’s diverse energy mix whilst driving down the costs of nuclear energy in a bid to cut energy bills for customers.
It includes a £32 million boost from government and industry to kick-start new advanced manufacturing programme including R&D investment to develop potential world-leading nuclear technologies including advanced modular reactors.