“We are relieved that the post has been filled after nearly a year of waiting,” said Mike Graham, National Secretary of the union representing 15,000 scientists, engineers and specialists in the nuclear and radioactive waste management industry.
“We look forward to building a good relationship with Tony Fountain during the next phase of the NDA’s work. But our members have faced constant uncertainty since the NDA was formed. In the challenging times ahead, Prospect is seeking certainty in relation to skills, funding levels and priorities, as well as how the organisation works with stakeholders.”
Prospect will continue to press its message that:
- A long-term focus is needed on funding for nuclear decommissioning. As a priority, the three-year funding model set out in the 2004 Energy Act, which has led to an annual ‘stop-start’ approach, should be urgently reviewed so that Britain’s planned clean-up programme can be delivered, instead of solely focusing on keeping high hazard areas in a safe state.
- The NDA needs to clarify its wider role in the changing landscape of new nuclear build. This includes measures to address the ever-widening engineering skills gap, and staff mobility between employers throughout the nuclear estate.
- The NDA will need to increase its focus on workforce skills and socio-economic support for local communities around nuclear sites, as new nuclear build will create high quality jobs for local communities.