Nuclear workers

Hutton’s nuclear push welcomed in Cumbria

Regeneration agencies West Lakes Renaissance and Cumbria Vision welcomed Business Secretary John Hutton's call for a "significant expansion" of the nuclear power industry.

The pair issued a statement saying they believe West Cumbria can play a pivotal role in helping to deliver an extended nuclear programme for Britain.

Sutton today called for the creation of a £20bn industry with 100,000 new jobs, making the UK "the gateway to a new nuclear renaissance across Europe".

Rosie Mathisen, director of nuclear opportunities at West Lakes Renaissance and adviser on nuclear issues to Cumbria Vision, responded: "West Cumbria's existing nuclear sites and assets offer huge potential for new build and the flexibility to support future developments in nuclear policy.

"Not only do we boast enough room at Sellafield to build two nuclear reactors – together with enough reprocessed fuel to power them for 60 years – but we also have the space, expertise and the will to assist with establishing Britain as a world-leader in the development of nuclear power technology.

"Add to this the fact that West Cumbria is already home to more than a third of the UK's civil nuclear industry and almost half of the UK's nuclear workforce, you cannot deny that this unique area has a crucial role to play in the national and international nuclear industry."

A new nuclear power station in West Cumbria is part of the Britain's Energy Coast Masterplan, the £2bn package of regeneration projects from training to business premises and diversification into alternative energy technologies, including off shore wind, tidal, oil and gas.

Meanwhile, developers have until 3 April to express their interest in taking on the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's sites at Sellafield, Calder Hall, Windscale and the Low Level Waste Repository facility at Drigg. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority says it will consider all proposals for the four sites, but stressed they must demonstrate how it would give value to the UK taxpayer.

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