Nuclear power station faces axe

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The Independent Online

One of the country's oldest nuclear power stations is to close in 2002 with the loss of hundreds of jobs, staff were being told today.

One of the country's oldest nuclear power stations is to close in 2002 with the loss of hundreds of jobs, staff were being told today.

The Magnox station at Bradwell in Essex, which employs 350 workers, has been in operation since 1962, producing enough electricity for three towns.

Staff were called to a meeting today at which managers were believed to be announcing the closure.

State-owned British Nuclear Fuels, which owns the station, would not confirm the closure decision.

"We are telling staff about the future of the power station today," said a spokesman.

It is understood that staffing numbers will be maintained until March 2002, when the power station will be de-commissioned, a process likely to take up to four years.

There is likely to be scope for redeployment and voluntary redundancies, which will lessen the jobs blow.

Unions have been consulted about the future of Bradwell, so they were not surprised by today's development.

"We are disappointed if this news is correct, although we recognise that a thorough investigation into Bradwell's future has been carried out," said Dougie Rooney, national officer for the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union.

"We are convinced that it would be uneconomic to keep the station open beyond 2002. However we do want to see extra investment in other Magnox power stations and hope that Bradwell's workforce can be redeployed."

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