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The new secretary of state for the Department of Energy and Climate Change has made his first visit to Sellafield.
Ed Davey, who recently succeeded Chris Huhne in the post, met with Deputy Managing Director George Beveridge and Director of Spent Fuel Management Scott Sax as well as senior figures from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) before embarking on a tour of the Sellafield site.
As part of his visit he found time to meet with convenors from GMB, Unite and Prospect, as well as the leaders of Cumbria County Council and Copeland Borough Council.
NDA stakeholder relations manager, Brian Hough, said: “Along with our colleagues at Sellafield we were extremely pleased to have an early opportunity to explain to the Secretary of State the important role West Cumbria and Sellafield plays in the current UK nuclear decommissioning industry. In addition to meeting local stakeholders and trades union officials we were able to take the Secretary of State on the site so he could see first hand the important work being delivered at Sellafield.”
Peter Clements, of Prospect, who met Mr Davey alongside Craig Dobson of Unite and Joe Murdock of GMB, said: “It was a chance for him to get to know his patch, a whistle-stop tour really but the Secretary of State talked with us for about 15 minutes, he grabbed a sandwich and we had a good crack about the various Sellafield issues.
“Basically we said we wanted to make efficiencies on our site and get best value for taxpayers’ money for what we do, but this was dependent on us getting stable funding year in, year out.”
Copeland Council leader Elaine Woodburn said: “It was good to welcome Ed Davey to Copeland so soon after his appointment. It demonstrates how important Sellafield is within the department he now leads.
“I took the opportunity to emphasise what we can do as a community that helps Copeland and what support we need from government to help us diversify so that in 15-20 years we are not as reliant on nuclear as we are now.”
CAPTION: Peter Clements (Prospect Union), Eddie Martin (Leader of Cumbria County Council), Joe Murdock (GMB Union), Ed Davey (Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change), Elaine Woodburn (Leader of Copeland Borough Council), Craig Dobson (Unite Union)