Green MSP Ross Greer has called on ministers at Holyrood to secure work for every worker at Hunterston B Nuclear Power Station ahead of its planned closure.
Ross asked Scottish Government Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse about recent safety concerns during a question session in the chamber last week (28 March) - after an estimated 370 cracks were found in the reactor core, which has not produced electricity for over a year. He pointed to the fact that the station, even in the event that current problems can be resolved, is due to end its life span in 2023, and demanded that the Scottish Government lead the development of a plan to ensure future employment for every worker and the wider community.
Ross Greer, MSP said:
“While the minister made positive comments about the workers at Hunterston in his answer to me, I am still yet to see any evidence that a real plan is being developed for the future of jobs in the community after 2023. The process of shutting down the reactor and making it safe will provide some work for the first few years, that is no substitute for a long term plan. “
“You can’t just switch to a greener economy overnight. A Just Transition guarantees employment for all workers, makes use of their skills, provides training to those who need it and promises good wages and conditions. We know that transitioning to green industries will create more jobs than currently exist in industries like nuclear power but only if we put the plans in place now. Otherwise, we risk a repeat of what happened at Longannet, where the power station closed, leaving workers with no real plan for jobs. That’s not good enough for me and it’s not good enough for the community at Hunterston.“