Ian Fairlie: THE Labour Party’s recent election manifesto says a Labour government would support nuclear power as part of a low-carbon energy mix and that it would continue to support Hinkley C.The reason is that Jeremy Corbyn needs trade union support and some major unions think that nuclear power will furnish many jobs. But this is a myth, a shibboleth. The real situation is that renewable energy already provides far more jobs than nuclear does now, and will provide far more jobs more quickly than nuclear ever would — even if current government plans were to succeed. The problem is that promoting nuclear power diminishes the prospects of creating new jobs in renewable energy industries — eg in establishing a large offshore wind manufacturing base. Let’s look at the Hinkley C site, for example. Although about 4,500 jobs would exist each year during the main phase of construction, EDF has admitted most would be temporary and filled by overseas workers. And if it were ever completed, it would only employ 900 workers. In fact, Hinkley C would be a remarkably poor bet for Britain and British unions, as industry insiders expect 90 per cent of the work at Hinkley, and all high-tech work, would go to French firms. For example, in 2013, EDF Energy completed a very large gas-fired power station at West Burton in Nottinghamshire where 100 per cent of the engineering contracts — even the concrete — went to French firms.
Morning Star 16th June 2017 read more »