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Prospect Conference reaffirms support for new nuclear and demands govt action on energy security

13 June 2022

Prospect members at the union’s National Conference in Bournemouth have a debated range of motions relating to energy and climate change, with a focus on new nuclear, energy security, the retail price crisis and Just Transition.

Picture of Prospect Senior Deputy General Secretary speaking on conference stage

Senior Deputy General Secretary of Prospect Sue Ferns

Conference recognised the need for new nuclear generation in the pursuit of net zero and agreed to continue its campaign for both a new generation of large-scale nuclear power stations and also Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).

The energy price crisis also formed a large part of the debate. Members recognised the impact the war in the Ukraine is having on already high energy prices and potentially on energy security.

Conference delegates spoke about the contribution that Springfields Nuclear Fuel can have on energy security and urged Prospect to continue its fight to protect jobs and capacity at the site. They also urged a commitment to be sought from any new nuclear provider to buy fuel in the UK.

Delegate Thomas Bleasdale said:

“Springfields Fuels Ltd in Preston is the first ever civil nuclear fuel plant for electricity. It is a key UK strategic asset. It is clean, it is green and it is alongside renewables.”

The final plank of a motion on achieving net zero looked at ensuring a just transition. The move to a low carbon economy can provide a wealth of opportunities but not if we offshore jobs and leave  behind communities that are currently reliant on e.g. high carbon electricity generation.

Sue Ferns, Senior Deputy General Secretary, said:

“Years of dither and delay means we are far behind some other countries when it comes to making ourselves energy sufficient and this is reflected on our vulnerability to international energy prices.

“New nuclear, as part of the energy mix along with the expansion of renewables, is essential to reaching net zero and also to achieving energy security. Nuclear fuel must also play a part of that which is why we need action from the government on Springfields.

“We also need to make sure Prospect remains at the forefront of the drive to ensure a Just Transition. Net zero will simply not work if the burden of getting there is pushed onto those least able to bear it.”


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