Coal and nuclear industries 'doomed'

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The Independent Online
LEADERS of senior managers in the power industry yesterday predicted the demise of the British coal and nuclear industries unless ministers set out a balanced energy policy, writes Barrie Clement.

On the eve of the first meeting of the Government's energy advisory panel, the Engineers' and Managers' Association said the coal industry would be reduced to a maximum of eight pits employing about 5,000 miners by the mid-1990s, and decline to nothing thereafter.

The association, with 22,000 members, also warned there would be no nuclear industry unless there was a decision to build Sizewell C power station within two years. If not, the expertise needed to build it would be lost abroad. These 'depressing and alarming' conclusions were based on the most likely scenario as the 'dash for gas' created its own momentum, Tony Cooper, the general secretary, said.

The EMA's predictions coincided with the announcement that a 'core' pit was to close with the loss of more than 500 jobs. Production at Littleton colliery, Staffordshire, will end on 10 December if miners accept redundancy payments of up to pounds 37,000. The only other colliery in the county, Silverdale, is to close on 3 December, costing 440 jobs.