Magnox to cut 1,600 jobs as nuclear lights go out


Jamie Dunkley
Friday 22 May 2015 09:02 BST
Cattle graze in front of British Nuclear Electric's Wylfa Magnox plant in Anglesey, Wales
Cattle graze in front of British Nuclear Electric's Wylfa Magnox plant in Anglesey, Wales (REUTERS/Bob Collier)

The nuclear operator Magnox is set to cut up to 1,600 UK jobs at 12 of its power stations as generation comes to a halt.

Magnox was founded in 2011 and operates under a contract for the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to wind down ageing plants. The company said the redundancies will affect agency and contract workers as well as staff.

“The mission to safely decommission the Magnox sites has always predicted reducing staff numbers over the coming years,” the company said in a statement.

Magnox’s nuclear sites include Berkeley in Gloucestershire and Hinkley Point A in Somerset. Eleven of its stations have already stopped generating power and the twelfth – Wylfa in Anglesey in North Wales – is set to close next year.

“We will seek wherever possible for these reductions to be through voluntary means ,and we will endeavour to retrain staff in roles where we are currently reliant on agency resources,” Magnox added.

Earlier this year, the Government’s plans for a new £16bn civil nuclear plant at Hinkley Point were dealt a blow by the United Nations and a powerful group of MPs. A UN environmental committee warned of “profound suspicion” that the UK had failed to carry out a proper consultation with neighbouring countries, including Norway and Spain, over the possible environmental impact of Hinkley Point C.

The French energy giant EDF will only build the plant if a minimum price is guaranteed for the electricity generated, so ensuring a return for shareholders worried about the enormous upfront construction costs.

This minimum, known as the “strike price”, would be covered through increases in consumer bills.

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