The site is currently managed by parent company Westinghouse Electric under a five-year contract awarded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, which expires in September 2010.
“We are delighted that Westinghouse is in advanced talks with the NDA about taking a long-term commercial lease of the site,” said Mike Graham, national secretary at the union for 15,000 scientists, engineers and specialists in the nuclear and radioactive waste management industry.
“This steps outside the original NDA strategy of awarding short-term contracts to parent companies, renewable every few years – a policy which has led to uncertainty among staff, with companies reluctant to invest for the short term.
“A new, long-term commercial leasing arrangement with Westinghouse will provide certainty for staff, and pave the way for long-term investment with the creation of new jobs.
“The site will be able to focus on opening up new fuel manufacturing lines to supply the new nuclear power stations scheduled for construction in the UK. It could guarantee jobs for more than 70 years and for future generations in the north west.”
Springfields Fuels employs 1,350 staff, of whom around 500 are managers, technical specialists and administrators in Prospect. “If this succeeds, it will complete yet another piece of the nuclear jobs jigsaw,” said Graham.