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GMB Union urges Scottish Government to bid for Rolls Royce nuclear factory

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Rolls-Royce Small Nuclear Reactor

GMB Union has written a letter to Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport in Scotland, urging the Scottish Government to bid for the new Rolls Royce nuclear factory

Rolls Royce and a consortium of firms are planning to construct a fleet of small modular reactors (SMR) for use in the UK energy industry, as well as to export globally. The companies are currently looking for a site in which to construct the factory in which to build the nuclear reactors, although it’s not known which areas in the UK have put in a bid. 

Scotland currently has just one remaining nuclear power plant left, which is located in Torness, although that is set to be decommissioned in 2028 due to cracking. It’s unlikely to be replaced with another full scale nuclear power station, which is why GMB Union is keen to secure new jobs in the sector at a Rolls Royce plant. 

In the letter to Matheson, Drew Duffy, GMB Senior Organiser, noted, “Nuclear workers and GMB members across Scotland are in danger of once again being left behind due to the Scottish Government’s continued opposition to nuclear power.

“EDF sites at Hunterston and Torness have skilled workforces who now face their lives being uprooted as their jobs move to the rest of the UK where new nuclear opportunities are being seized.

“This is not about party politics; this is about protecting the jobs and incomes of Scottish workers, meeting Scotland’s energy needs and achieving net zero through a real just transition.

“The Scottish Government needs to outline if it’s opposed to these jobs being in Scotland. If not, then they must begin immediate discussions with Rolls Royce to bid for the factory and the jobs it will bring.”

However, despite the plea, it’s unlikely to generate action from the Scottish National Party. That’s because the party has long held a no nuclear power policy, instead opting to concentrate on other energy sources, such as wind power. This policy is at odds with the UK Government, but looks to be paying off, with the country only narrowly missing its target of 100% renewables in 2020 and securing a record 25 GW of future offshore wind

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