Ministers need to put their foot on the accelerator to invest in new UK nuclear capacity to meet the government’s own target of net zero emissions by 2050 and to kick-start the ‘levelling up’ agenda, Unite the union said today (Wednesday 30 June).

Unite was commenting on the all-party parliamentary group’s (APPG) report on nuclear energy Net Zero Needs Nuclear: A Roadmap to 2024, which said that the most important step is for the government to introduce legislation for a new nuclear financing model.

Unite national officer for energy Rob MacGregor said: “This APPG report is yet another wake-up call for ministers to put their collective foot on the accelerator and come up with a comprehensive blueprint for the nuclear industry and how it is going to be financed in the coming decade.

“Unite has always regarded ‘nuclear’ as a vital component of the ‘clean energy mix’; if, as a country, we are going to hit the government’s target of net zero emissions in all forms of energy by 2050.

“Bold promises and warm words for combating climate change from Boris Johnson are no substitute for a template for the development of the nuclear industry with all the positive outcomes which would flow from such decisive action, including the creation of thousands of jobs in the UK and saving millions of tonnes of emission each year by 2035. 

“If legislation is not enacted urgently on investment in new nuclear capability before the current sites, except one, are due to ‘retire’ by 2024, it will jeopardise the government’s other energy targets and could mean the net zero goal by 2050 will not be achieved.  

“Unfortunately, this government’s ability to plan for the long-term is in serious doubt as it jettisoned its proposals for a joined-up industrial strategy earlier this year in favour of Treasury-led medium-term proposals to boost skills post-pandemic - such thinking does not augur well for what the APPG is calling for today.”


Notes to editors:

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.