GMB warns that Scots face higher energy bills if new UK nuclear plant goes ahead

Hinkley Point C nuclear power station signGMB Scotland – one of the major trade unions represented in the UK energy sector – has warned that Scots will pay higher energy bills even if the proposed new Anglo-Franco-Sino new nuclear power station is built at Hinkley Point C.

The UK government have offered a guaranteed strike price of £92 per mw-hour for the 35 year lifetime of the proposed new atom plant to the mostly-state-owned French nuclear generator, EDF.

But EDF delayed the final investment decision on the project in April in order to consult with its unions. But Jean-Luc Magnaval, Secretary of the Central Works Committee has said that the trade unions are unlikely to give their blessing to the project in its current state.

Gary Smith, Secretary, GMB Scotland, said:  “We know the French union CGT well. We have worked with them in the nuclear sector for years. We understand CGT have concerns over Hinkley but the whole of the UK desperately needs this project to go ahead.

“This decision will have profound implications for Scotland. If EDF can’t get the project off the ground, the only show in town will be China’s.

“We will be dependent on them to pay for the project which means Chinese reactors with a Chinese supply chain and little to no chance for Scottish companies to compete as they would have with EDF.

“Very significantly, all Scots will pay higher energy bills to pay for a Chinese reactor. The UK won’t negotiate with China over price, they will be had over a barrel and that will end up on every bill on the UK.

“The Scottish political class has been dishonest with the Scottish people over the hard choices we have on energy. The idea that renewables will meet all our needs for electricity is laughable.”

Meanwhile, GMB Scotland also want the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to be re-designated as the Nuclear Development Authority and take over responsibility for the project.

Smith added; “We need a grown up debate about energy and how we are going to fund new nuclear that will be a huge part of the low carbon future.

“The extension for Torness to 2030 demonstrates that Scotland is and will remain dependent on nuclear power for base load electricity. We have a good low carbon mix in Scotland but renewables are intermittent and we need nuclear as part of the mix.”

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