Partnership not nuclear sale, says Prospect


Partnership not nuclear sale, says Prospect

Britain’s biggest nuclear union has called for a halt to moves to sell off the British Nuclear Group (BNG) until the option of a public private partnership has been fully investigated.

The call follows a two-day meeting of 80 Prospect representatives - on behalf of the union’s 6,000 plus members across the company - with BNFL’s directors to discuss the planned sell-off.

Speaking after the meeting, Prospect national secretary Mike Graham said: "Having heard BNG management outline their business case for the sale of the company, our members have major reservations about whether a sell-off is the way forward for BNG, its holding company BNFL or the staff that are the crux of the business.

"But the status quo is not a realistic option either. As we heard today, BNFL acknowledge that it would not be able to win decommissioning contracts in its current state. We are unconvinced of the wisdom of abandoning the UK’s nuclear industry to market forces, at a time when there are repeated calls to investigate nuclear power’s contribution to meeting our emission targets.

"The government needs to seriously consider a public private partnership which provides the best opportunity to safeguard the security and safety of the nuclear industry in the UK."

Prospect will also be making representations to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to delay the timetable for opening the bidding on decommissioning work.

"We shall continue our discussions with BNFL management," said Graham, "over the implications for the pay and conditions of staff and full protection for the pension fund as we are not persuaded by anything we have heard so far that sufficient protection and assurances are on the table."