Why are unions so keen on nuclear jobs? | Letters | Environment

Thanks to Mike Clancy (Letters, 2 April) for responding to our analysis that intense UK government attachments to civil nuclear power are (to a significant – but dangerously undiscussed – extent) aimed at supporting the national industrial base underpinning nuclear submarine capabilities. He accuses us of “speculation”, yet fails to address any of the strong evidence that we cite. We show at length that UK nuclear attachments do not reflect economic performance. A host of ways to manage intermittency are routinely priced at a small fraction of the growing cost advantage of renewable energy. As a member of the UK Nuclear Industry Council (itself with a dual civil/military remit), Mr Clancy could assist much-needed factual scrutiny by addressing the points we raise. As a union leader, he might help democratic debate by explaining why his own organisation – and UK unions more generally – are so much more supportive of jobs in the nuclear than in the renewable sector.
Professor Andy Stirling and Dr Phil Johnstone
SPRU, University of Sussex

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