Nuclear Generation

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2011 Energy Service Group Conference
1 March 2011

Nuclear Energy. Let’s Consider The Options.

Since the privatisation of the UK Energy Industry most energy companies have been subjected to some degree of foreign ownership where a considerable ‘’laissez faire’’ attitude to the consideration of nuclear energy exists. Edf – the French owned Energy Company in particular has expressed its commitment to furthering nuclear energy and is willing and able to invest billions of pounds in new nuclear build.

We believe the time has come for UNISON to consult widely to consider whether nuclear energy has a role to play, alongside other low carbon generation and energy efficiency measures, in the sustainable provision of our long term energy needs. As companies grow the opportunity to recruit, retain and engage in a meaningful Company dialogue is severely pressurised by our historic resistance to all things nuclear! Other Trade Unions are able to successfully express their pro-nuclear credentials to the detriment of our own union particularly with regard to European Works Council multi national forums.

We call upon the Energy Service Group Executive to produce a report building on its recent prospectus ‘’Perspectives on our future energy’’ to identify

(1) Whether nuclear energy has a role to play in the delivery of consumer price reductions and price stability;

(2) Whether nuclear can contribute to security of supply for the next generation and beyond;

(3) Whether the use of nuclear generation as an alternative to carbon based fossil fuels can have a positive impact on reducing global warming and climate change concerns and therefore will be considered an environmental benefit;

(4) Whether the expansion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures can seriously solve the energy supply deficit;

And to report back to next years Energy Conference as a means of fostering a debate about the real price of nuclear energy both in financial and environmental terms.

In addition the Energy Service Group Executive should produce a questionnaire for Branch Secretaries to ascertain whether UNISON’s anti-nuclear policy is having a detrimental impact upon recruitment and retention within local energy companies.

Finally we request the ESGE to deliver a session at this years 2011 Energy Seminar to raise these issues for grass root discussions.

Western Energy Branch

23rd January 2011.