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Nuclear industry calls for new sites on 65th anniversary

File photo dated 28/05/20 of construction workers staying socially distanced at Hinkley Point C nuclear power station near Bridgwater, Somerset, Europe's largest building site. Oic by Ben Birchall

By Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

Business leaders are calling on the Government to secure the future of the nuclear industry and support tens of thousands of jobs.

On the 65th anniversary of nuclear power first being generated in the UK, ministers were told the industry is now at a “pivotal point”.

Calder Hall in Cumbria, the first nuclear power station in the world to produce electricity for domestic use, was designed to last 20 years but was operational for 47 before closing in 2003.

Business leaders across the North West have called for legislation to take forward plans for a new Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk.

Dawn James, vice-president of Jacobs, which has sites in Cumbria employing 700 people, said: “The UK’s nuclear industry currently finds itself at a pivotal point on its 65th birthday.

“Since Hinkley Point C began its construction over five years ago, the industry has gone from strength to strength.

“Jobs, skills and opportunities have flourished across the region. Now we need to build on them further and look ahead to the next 65 years.

“Sizewell C is a natural next step for net-zero, nuclear and new opportunities across the North West.”

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said: “The UK’s legacy of nuclear innovation shows how this industry can deliver clean energy for our climate goals and good jobs for our communities.

“The Government urgently needs to introduce a new financing model for nuclear so we can build new stations and seize the opportunities of a green economy for the next generation.”

A Business Department spokesperson said: “Nuclear power has a key role to play in the UK’s low-carbon energy future and we intend to approve at least one large-scale nuclear project in the next three years.

“In doing so, we will strengthen our energy security, attract billions of pounds in private capital and create tens of thousands of jobs across the country.”

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