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MP to let rip at nuclear industry and councils over benefits delay

COPELAND’S MP will fire a nuclear salvo at a major West Cumbrian conference tomorrow.

‘Delays’: MP Jamie Reed was a speaker

Jamie Reed plans to pull no punches when he addresses the West Cumbria Nuclear Futures conference at the Energus Centre, Lillyhall.

Leading figures in the nuclear industry, union officials and community leaders can expect some hard-hitting comments over what the Labour MP sees as delays in delivering the area’s anticipated nuclear benefits.

Mr Reed will warn: “This community will no longer tolerate the petty enmities of local government or its stubborn and baseless belief that it can achieve the transformation we seek – despite all the evidence to the contrary.

“Nor will it continue to endure the empty words and false promises from other private and public sector agencies which claim to share our ambitions and then do little or nothing to help ensure that these ambitions are realised.”

The MP has also made it clear to The Whitehaven News that he is not totally satisfied with the performance of Nuclear Management Partners, the American-led consortium which took over from BNFL in 2008 as Sellafield’s parent body organisation.

NMP declined to comment at this stage.

Mr Reed said: “As an MP who took the unprecedented step of recommending NMP for the contract to run the Sellafield site I will have no hesitation whatsoever in calling for this contract to be re-tendered by the NDA if significant and rapid change for the implementation and delivery of our ambitions is not forthcoming.

“Every agency, whether public or private, operating in West Cumbria today must accept that unless they are part of delivering our prosperous shared future then they are part of our problem. I will act, and our community will act, to change this.”

NMP’s initial five-year term to manage Sellafield expires in March 2014.

Potentially, the contract could run for a total of 17 years but the NDA could – if it is dissatisfied with NMP’s performance – terminate it in two years’ time and put it back out to competition. Such a move would send shockwaves across the nuclear industry and bring an end to the £60million-a-year fee currently taken by NMP from the Sellafield site, said the MP.

Martin Koffel, chief executive of URS Corporation, lead partners in NMP, is also speaking at the conference which focuses on “jobs, excellence and safety – our nuclear future”.

Lord Marland, an energy minister, will also speak, along with Sellafield Ltd’s MD Todd Wright, new NDA chief executive John Clarke, and Olivier Carret, chief operating officer of Nugen, which wants to build a power station in Copeland.

They will be told by Mr Reed that West Cumbria faces arguably the most critical time in its history.

“It stands at a fork in the road. We either understand that we quickly need to make the right decisions with the right partners – the deep underground repository is critical in all of this – and secure public services, life opportunities and economic growth.

“Over recent years, through hard work, good stewardship by the NDA and good luck, we have managed to prolong the employment profile at Sellafield. Two factors, the recession and Fukushima, but principally the recession, have acted as an anchor weight upon our ambitions but the time for action is overdue and nobody should forget the public promises made by URS, specifically when NMP won the Sellafield contract. They stated that we wouldn’t have enough people available for the jobs they were going to create.

“Where are these jobs?”

The conference is organised by the three unions representing nuclear industry employees – Prospect, GMB & Unite – under the banner of TUSNE, or trades unions for safe nuclear energy.

Have your say

John Clarke did not attend the event, Jim McLaughlin, HR Director attended in his place.

Posted by Anon on 22 April 2012 at 21:10

Let us circumvent nuclear power. How? Base all the wind turbines on turntables and, when required, turn them towards our notable MP, Mr. Reed. He has enough hot air to enable energisation (please note the English spelling as opposed to 'over the pond mis-spelling) of all these monstrosities that blight our landscape from the highlands of Scotland to the south coast of England.
What do we have, or not?
1. Job losses at Sellafield that will never be recovered.
2. Millions of GBPs going out of this country via a management company that do not have the best interests of this area and this country at heart.
3. Many more Americans coming to SL on inflated saleries.
4. The 'go-betweeners' (NDA) being recruited from SL on vastly inflated salaries.
5. Points 3 and 4 being paid for by workers becoming ex-workers, and the tax payers, you and I.
OK, take it or leave it. Innocence is appealing in children, not, however, in adults. The point being? There is a strategy, a game-plan whereby, ultimately, a huge underground store for highly active waste will be built. Will? Yes, will. The little carrots being sought seemingly by our illustrious MP to assuage any misgivings and doubts that we may have are tantamount to deception. Short-term political gains as in 'look what I have got for you' (a new road, dual carriageway, 200 {at the most} new jobs, etc, et al) are not enough reason to inflict on our childrens children the horrendous consequences that a highly active nuclear waste repository, in an unstable geological area, will have.
In the past, any new builds have been out-sourced to the north east, Scotland, the Midlands, south. There has been little involvement with local people being employed long term in new builds. There is no reason why this would be any different in the future. None what so ever.
So, all you SL people who have been seduced, look inwardly. Reflect. Pause. Because of your ambition, your 'here and now' self gratification, is this reason enough to subjugate your descendants, and this area geographically speaking, to a legacy that will last thousands and thousands of years?
Please do not think short term. Look at your children now, go on, look at them, and think of them. When we are long gone, the most toxic substance known to man will still be in a highhly toxic state. Hopefully, this will not be buried 10 miles from here waiting for an earthquake, albeit, minor, to cause a catastrophe before unknown to man.
Before Mr. Reed and co. start going on about 'jobs this and jobs that', let them appreciate how their short term political goals could impact on our children.
Chernobyl and Fukishima are not a million miles away from here. Let us not forget.

Posted by Observer on 20 April 2012 at 23:32

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