The towering fences ringed with barbed wire, the high chimneys set against the sea, the copper dome of the reactor: Sellafield. For all the lush pasture, the meandering lanes and summer ramblers, if Copeland could not smash atomic nuclei into one another it would cease to be, a certainty that’s clear from the moment anyone opens their mouth. And that’s precisely why the Labour Party has a problem on its hands. After weeks of obfuscation on the issue, on 1 February Jeremy Corbyn finally committed to “new nuclear”, giving his backing to Moorside, a nuclear power plant that’s been in the offing here since 1980 but that no one has yet started building. It also won’t come online til 2024 at the earliest, even if it recovers from recent setbacks. But you don’t get to campaign against nuclear power and indeed nuclear weapons for three decades and not expect those views to carry a long half life. If Copeland’s residents don’t work at Sellafield, there’s a fair chance they’ll work down the Watney Channel at Barrow-in-Furness, building the Trident submarines that Corbyn wants to see carry nuclear missiles with no nuclear warheads.
Independent 18th Feb 2017 read more »