THE decision to close Hunterston B two years early has been labelled a ‘huge body blow’ to the local area. The site is set to move into the defuelling phase by the first week in 2022, and decommissioning of the plant will begin around three years later. Now the local Labour Party has called on the Scottish Government and North Ayrshire Council to act quickly to find employment for the hundreds of jobs that will be lost after decommissioning. Councillor Alex Gallagher said: “This is a undoubtedly a massive blow to Largs and the surrounding towns and villages. Conservative councillor Tom Marshall also says plans must be put in place to support those losing their livelihoods. He said: “The local economy continues to suffer from the lack of well-paid jobs and the presence of large employers. “The lack of a plan to reinvigorate the economy of the area is a real concern. We need to start acting now in preparation for the plant’s closure.” Independent councillor Ian Murdoch says he has concerns about the impact on jobs – but also over the safety of the plant itself. He added: “I’m very concerned about the impact this decision will have on the local economy but hopefully there will be a large part of the workforce that will remain for several years to come. Site director Paul Forrest told the News that staff will be supported throughout the process, with discussions already taking place. He said: “Our plan is to generate power up to 2021. After that we move into a period of defuelling that will take three years, then into a period of decommissioning which will take about eight years. “We will be paying all of our employees up till the end of 2021 at least, there will be no job reductions before then. “After that there will be reductions in a controlled and phased fashion, we will retain about three quarters of our staff for defuelling, which will mean about 130 staff will lose their jobs. “That will last up until 2025, and I cannot predict staffing levels after that time, not many industries can do that.”
Largs and Millport Weekly News 8th Sept 2020 read more »
Letter David M Ong Professor of International and Environmental Law Nottingham Trent University: The early closing down of Hunterston (brought forward from 2023 to next year) should serve to allay public fears as it shows that vigilant inspections can identify industrial wear and tear long before they become critical issues. The UK government therefore needs to move forward on at least three fronts to ensure the future of the UK’s nuclear industry. These are first, the National Infrastructure Strategy, which will incorporate the fourth allocation round of the contracts for difference scheme to attract investors to meet the UK’s much needed public infrastructure deficit. Second, the proposed new restricted asset base model for financing new nuclear build. And third, the inclusion of nuclear energy as a “green purpose” for investment by the proposed revamped version of the Green Investment Bank.
FT 9th Sept 2020 read more »