Row breaks out over Labour's position on proposed west Cumbria nuclear plant

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15 January 2017 6:33PM

A POLITICAL row has broken out after the leader of the Labour Party refused to give his support for a nuclear development in west Cumbria.

Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Jeremy Corbyn did not endorse the proposed Moorside Power Station when asked.

He said: "I want to see a mix, I want to see a greater emphasis in the long-term on renewables in the way Germany and other countries have done but we do have nuclear power stations, we do have a nuclear base at the moment and that will continue for a long time."

READ MORE: Moorside new-build is an 'Olympic-scale opportunity'

Responding to Mr Corbyn's comments, John Stevenson, Conservative MP for Carlisle, said: "Once again Jeremy Corbyn refuses to back a new nuclear power plant at Moorside – a project which could create 21,000 new jobs in Cumbria.


                    John Stevenson MP.

John Stevenson MP.

"And he's previously called for every nuclear power station to be decommissioned which would put tens of thousands of jobs at risk in the nuclear industry."

NuGen, a joint venture between Toshiba and ENGIE, is developing plans for a new nuclear base of up to 3.8 gigawatts at Moorside to power up to six million homes.

The comments come at a crucial time as Labour and Conservatives battle for votes in the upcoming by-election in Copeland, home to Sellafield and the proposed Moorside project.

However, John Woodcock, MP for Barrow and Furness, insisted Labour's stance on Moorside was clear.

He said: "Jeremy Corbyn is more relaxed about expressing his personal opinions than most party leaders but Labour's position on Moorside is clear: in government we passed the legislation that made new civil nuclear possible and locally and nationally we continue to champion the new power station.

"Labour will select its by election candidate this week who will campaign every bit as hard as Jamie Reed for the 21,000 new local jobs that Moorside will create as well as standing up for the pensions of Sellafield workers that risk being cut by the Tory government.

"With real fears about the future of West Cumberland hospital, this by-election is a chance for voters to send a clear message to Theresa May that downgrading the A&E and maternity unit is not acceptable, and this is the argument that Labour will be making right up until polling day."

READ MORE: Green Party to contest Copeland seat in anti-nuclear campaign

The Conservatives have put the nuclear industry at the centre of their campaigning, saying Corbyn's views would be a "catastrophe" for Cumbria and industry jobs.

Responding to what his message to the constituency's voters would be, Mr Corbyn said: "My message to the voters of Copeland is the NHS is in crisis, your hospital is about to be continuing underfunded and understaffed and your A&E department is at risk.

"We will be protecting jobs in that area and we would also be trying to protect the pensions of those people that have worked so very hard for so very long to keep the nuclear industry safe."

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C   S , Barrow Sunday, 22 January, 2017 at 8:21PM
Why can those that run this country do the maths, with 25 million homes in the U.K. x the cost of solar panels for each home averaging £5,000 that's a mere £125 million this would also contribute to the national grid. 3 new reactors is estimated to cost £10 billion.
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Jenny   Walter , Grange-Over-Sands Thursday, 19 January, 2017 at 10:21PM
How on earth did this happen, that a huge nuclear power station is to be built without any public consultation? On a site right next to Sellafield where nuclear waste is buried in geologically unstable ground? No to Moorside, No, No, No!!
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John   Smith , Whitehaven Thursday, 19 January, 2017 at 9:12AM
Lefties in Cumbria look a gift horse in the mouth No CO2 comes out a Nuclear power station, there is more out of the mouths of the vehement protesters. The ones who drive a petrol car to protest, then drive home to a gas fired central heating system We need the base energy supply as renewables cannot do it. On cold still dark winter days they are useless Then there is all those well paid jobs ..
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Nicola   Roberts , Mid Wales Tuesday, 17 January, 2017 at 12:03PM
I buy quality dairy products from this area, but the proximity of all the nuclear sites does spoil their image. Already affected by radioactivity from Sellafield in this region, time to pull plug on nuclear, not carry on experimenting in area proved vulnerable to climate change. ,
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David   Penney , COLNE Tuesday, 17 January, 2017 at 10:19AM
Moorside is a vastly expensive and unsafe white elephant which would not be built in time to meet our energy needs. Renewables are far cheaper and available now.
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Barry   Morgan , Burton-in-Kendal Monday, 16 January, 2017 at 5:55PM
Portugal ran 170 Hours continuously on renewable energy, Netherlands railway will soon be 100% run on renewable energy. it's not pie in the sky thinking any more and the results of a massive investment in producing renewable energy products in Cumbria would provide more jobs and money far faster than a new nuclear reactor.
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Allan   Wright , Keighley Monday, 16 January, 2017 at 5:06PM
The world, never mind Cumbria does not need any more nuclear power stations with the associate risks involved from such catastrophes as Chernobyl and Fukushima, and being unable to process spent fuel other than Plutonium for weapon purposes. There have already been very near major incidents at nearby Sellafield. Also there is always denial about increased Leukemia in areas surrounding these plants, and the smoke screen of 'job creation', but at what cost?? These same jobs could be created within the renewable industry by a forward looking government. I wonder how those backing these plans would feel about being the ones having to live alongside these plants with their families? A definite NO NO.
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Ed   Heslam , Workington Monday, 16 January, 2017 at 4:03PM
I am appalled at the way in which this nuclear power station is being waved through on a nod and a wink, while any developments like this proposed for the South must go through endless enquiries. We are suffering massive disruption while the water pipeline, to feed this monster, goes through our region. Would they put up with this type of thing in the Cotswolds? No one in authority would even dare to suggest this sort of development in the backyard of the rich and powerful.
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andy   , allerdale Monday, 16 January, 2017 at 3:56PM
Nuclear is bonkers, we dont need it unless we are on a suicide trip to extinction, either by irradiating ourselves and all other life on the planet to death, or by contributing to global warming greenhouse gas by using nuclear. As usual we are being lied to, they say its a carbon free way to generate electricity. IT IS NOT. If you take the whole 14 stage nuclear fuel cycle into consideration it causes masses of C02. They have trimmed the true figures down to ONE of the 14 stages and left out the truth. NUCLEAR AIDS CLIMATE CHANGE it is 7 times more polluting than windpower and will jump to 49 times more when the higher grade uranium runs out soon. Its also a ticking time bomb, no wonder the nuke industry can't get insurance, its too risky so we the tax paying public are left to pay for any clean up. True renewables are fast taking over the fossil fuel and nuke industries, they are getting cheaper every day and can be implemented far faster than nuclear at less of a cost, create a safe energy system of no interest to terrorists,are not capable of destroying the northern hemisphere in the event of an accident, create lots of jobs leading to a better economy,and dont leave lethal waste for future generations to have to look after for mind boggling lengths of time. NUCLEAR IS IMMORAL AND TOTAL MADNESS.
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Caroline   Hope , Bristol Monday, 16 January, 2017 at 2:39PM
Nuclear is not the message for the future. Renewables are the way forward.
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Chris   Gibbs , Grange over Sands Monday, 16 January, 2017 at 2:17PM
It is crazy to invest in something that is a threat to us and to future generations
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K   G , Allerdale Monday, 16 January, 2017 at 2:13PM
We're on the verge of a renewable clean energy and low power load revolution which could provide a great many jobs in and around Cumbria. Instead, however, foreign corporate lobbyists (from France, China and elsewhere) have 'somehow' managed to convince Westminster that what we need is a raft of untested installations costing us £billions in development costs, maintenance and bailouts. The bulk of any profits made will be syphoned overseas whilst tax payers will be left to pay even more £billions to decommission yet another toxic white elephant, which will be obsolete in little more than a decade - not to mention take our children and grandchildren (and more) centuries to clean up. It makes no sense, no matter how you look at it - especially considering the weight of scientific evidence that the technology is unreliable and the site's geology is totally unsuitable. Quite simply, it's bordering on the insane. Reluctantly, if Moorside goes ahead, I (and, no doubt, other local employers like me) will feel compelled to relocate my business elsewhere.
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Terrance   Eastham , Liverpool Monday, 16 January, 2017 at 2:03PM
Another Fukishama waiting to happen, Prevention is better than Regret !!! :-)
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Constance   Drummond , Oxfordshire Monday, 16 January, 2017 at 1:38PM
Tesla created a free energy device over 100 years ago which didn't fit the corporate agenda for profit. This development will go ahead on the basis of 21,000 job creation for local people who will, in the next decade, be largely replaced by robots. What's to like in whatever part of the country you live?
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Roz   Rayner-Rix , Northampton Monday, 16 January, 2017 at 1:36PM
We are all very aware that some countries are way ahead of the UK in the use of natural power supplies... There are far too many accidents involving the nuclear industry and I for one do not want to see any more... Cases of leukaemia and other cancers are rife in close proximity to these nuclear stations. We must concentrate on getting rid of all the ones that exist now, not building more... They are killing the planet, millions of living creatures...
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Richard   Wells , Wales Sunday, 15 January, 2017 at 7:24PM
I am against all nuclear power stations, They are far too expensive, potentially very dangerous producing dangerous long lived waste products with substantially no safe disposal method. I visit Cumbria and have friends there. I have cycled through and visited Sellafield. Sellafield has a disastrous history of secrecy, accidents and polluting the Irish or Celtic sea. Renewable Energy systems can supply our energy needs more cheaply and safely with more potential for local employment. We do not want or need these greedy foreign grabbing companies. Tell them to go back home.
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