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Massive jobs boost as nuclear takeover creates more than 200 roles in Gloucester

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 01, 2012

Oldbury power station

Oldbury power station - one of the sites bought by Hitachi as part of this week's £700m deal

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AT least 200 jobs are on the way to Gloucester thanks to a £700million nuclear deal.

Horizon Nuclear Power, based at Gloucester Business Park, is now in the hands of Japanese giant Hitachi and locally they expect to recruit between 200-300 new workers.

The news removes the question mark hanging over the future of the company's 100-plus staff and puts it, and Gloucester, at the centre of the country's nuclear industry.

Richard Graham, MP for the city, called the deal "great news for Gloucestershire" and David Owen, chief executive of GFirst, which drives Gloucestershire LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership), added: "I am delighted that this long-term investment has been announced. It will create much-needed skilled jobs in our county, while also recognising Gloucestershire as a real hub for nuclear excellence."

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Contracts have been exchanged on the sale of the company, and completion is expected by the end of November. Horizon was put up for sale by German parent companies RWE and E.ON in March.

Alan Raymant, Horizon chief operating officer, stressed the need to move quickly now to recruit between 200 and 300 people.

Among the roles will be skilled engineers, experts in planning, design engineers, lawyers to public relation roles and those required to run the offices of a corporate company.

He said: "We expect our projects to contribute to sustainable economic developments at local level for decades to come."

The news has also been welcomed by those working with the next generation of skilled workers.

Jenny Ford, head of Gloucestershire College's School for Engineering, said: "This major investment into the county is great news.

"We are naturally excited by the prospect of new power stations being constructed locally, and building working relationships with these companies to support their future plans with local talent."

Horizon was set up by the energy giants to develop plans for new nuclear plants at Oldbury-on-Severn, South Gloucestershire, and Wylfa in North Wales.

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  • littleoldlady  |  November 03 2012, 3:49PM

    I think I'd rather have a blot on my view from a windfarm than the threat of nuclear poisoning or increased global warming. Since when was what a place looks like more important than the future of the planet? Beauty is merely skin-deep - and this applies to the landscape as well as to faces!

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  • cosmicc  |  November 03 2012, 2:50PM

    So now we know why the DofT has been pushing for Hitachi to win the IEP contract !! Keep the Japanese sweet by letting them provide us with the most expensive,least suitable trains for the job - a train that all the experts agree is totally wrong for the purpose.Interesting that the proposed leasing fee for this white elephant is £75,000 per vehicle per month. Your journey to London is going to be very costly.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  November 03 2012, 11:36AM

    Spud0 - agree public should not be underestimated - from basic principles - renewables (except bio-mass, and waste to energy) are all intermittent potential not sufficient to meet demand - hence limited proportion of the total in the Government energy strategy. Potential for solar PV and heat limited in the U.K and their intermittancy have to be backed up with storage or alternative large generators - coal, gas or nuclear for supply security/stability. Similarly wind potential limited except in Scotland, or off-shore. Also considerable anti- wind turbine, barrage, waste to energy, anaerobic digestion, etc, you name it and you will find all and sundry protesting without understanding the pros and cons. Yes nuclear decommissioning costs a bomb and radioactive waste takes long long time - but such issues have to be addressed at the development stage and provisions costed/organised in advance for licensing. Who pays?you and me and future generations - but is there any options? coal - yes for a century or two - gas and oil - better use in transport, chemicals, etc, electricity is a high-value, versatile form of energy and much more valuable that primary fuels for heat or transport.

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  • Spud0  |  November 03 2012, 11:13AM

    Bonkim2003 "debating complex technical/strategic issues in this forum will not reach any conclusion " I am not seeking a conclusion, the questions about the cost of managing radioactive waste I raised in this forum are perfectly legitimate and have gone unanswered, nuclear waste management costs the UK taxpayer billions per year, something the nucelar industry like to hide. Some posts have made up facts, e.g most environmentalists support nuclear power, how was this conclusion ever arrived at? Solar panels and wind turbines have been presented as problematic as nuclear power with some incredible distortion of facts, as I say it's propoganda and it needs to be challenged especially the fact that noone will die from the Fukoshima nuclear power disaster. Prof Mark Jaconson, Standford University,USA predicts upto 2,500 people will die as result of the catastrophe. I am sure Hitachi and nuclear lobby don't want anyone to read or discuss these issues. However complex the issues we are not all fooled into thinking nuclear power is the answer to our energy problems.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  November 02 2012, 11:18PM

    Spud0 - debating complex technical/strategic issues in this forum will not reach any conclusion - in the real world decisions are maded based on balance of probabilities, and whether we have any other feasible/cost effective options. Coal and other fossil fuels for power generation being progressively banned by the EU; oil, and gas have more valuable uses for transport and the chemical industries. All are finite in any case. Nuclear fuel still abundant although there are environmental issues in mining and safety issues in nuclear power. (Lecorche comments on an important issue - the better off a society is more risk-averse - shunting the nasties outside where it is cheaper or less sensitive. Nuclear decommissioning/clean up is very expensive although we have learnt from past mistakes and improving technology, and managing wastes. Ultimately all this will cost money - that is if we have any money left soon to burn it in the first place. Regrettably, no easy answer - our economic/political/social systems are hooked on to continued expansion of production, and consumption, political decision making is short term - on one hand we are assuming aviation will expand to such an extent that we need huge increase in airport capacity, or that travel intensity will increas to the extent we will need the shole country linked by HSTs - in all this the industries always need to expand to stand still - the real question is not just nuclear fuel of money for managing wastes long term - but is there enough oil and gas or iron ore or bauxite or copper and all the other natural materials that a continuously expanding industrial and economic system needs just to keep going at present rates, leave alone at increasing rates to meet the needs and expectations of a growing population around the world. Will any politicians dare to look at raising awareness of the terminal future facing mankind and start looking seriously at strategic measures to push the end a few centuries ahead. Whether nuclear power is safer than coal or whether burning waste is good or bad - meaningless in this context.

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  • Spud0  |  November 02 2012, 7:07PM

    There's plenty of energy stategies that could be utilised to power the world before we all go nuclear, insulating very poorly built houses, better transport systems where we don't waste our fuel sat in traffic jams, getting world to stop producing junk we don't really need that ends up in landfills, growing food locally rather shipping it around the world, designing carbon neutral fuel systems plus renewable, geothermal and carbon neutral energy systems, it's endless but poorly supported by the vested interests that dominate our world today. What the nuclear lobby refuses to answer and my question here is how the world going to pay for managing safely nuclear waste for hundreds of thousands of years, the cost for a few decades of nuclear waste just for the UK is billions per year (see the UK Nuclear Decommsioning Agency for the figures) What is it going to cost over a hundred years and then hundred thousands years? Leaving our children and tehir children to pick up the cost is wrong. Nuclear power is not the solution, it's just going to create lots more problems for humanity.

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  • SG1970  |  November 02 2012, 6:14PM

    So tell me how many how are you planning to power the planet? How do you want to disperse the waste product of energy production, into the atmosphere or underground?

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  • Spud0  |  November 02 2012, 5:59PM

    SG1970 - Fukoshima's coolant failures led to a core melt down, the radioactive fuel was exposed to the atomosphere and leaked radioactive waste was released into the environment via the atmosphere and sea, this was no little bonfire. Japan's nuclear engineers said this could never happen but it did! I note Hitachi will be recruiting lawyers for the public relations post, no doubt we will be subjected to yet more misleading propaganda or writs for exposing the truth about nuclear power. The main issue with nuclear power is the cost of waste and the hundreds of thousands of years this will have to be managed, leaving it for the generations to come to deal with is immoral.

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  • SG1970  |  November 02 2012, 5:09PM

    Spud0 - That was a core breach, caused failed safety procedures, not a coolant breach as in Fukoshima, you are trying to compare a garden fire with the fire of London in scale. Do you actually understand the multiple redundant safety features of a Nuclear power station? The fact that even long term, it is one of the safest industries to work in thanks very stringent procedures built up over the years. Most environmentalists agree that nuclear power is now the only option to meet our future demands. Don't forget wind turbines are made from mined materials (metals), and plastics (oil), all are finite, and extraction and refining are very damaging to the environment and human health.

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  • Spud0  |  November 02 2012, 4:08PM

    Most of the people that died after the Chernobyl disaster died a slow death due to cancer and othrr genetic disorders induced by the radiation, to say no-one died after Fukoshima is propaganda much like the Soviet Union claims that no-one died from Chernobyl. A few more years and we will learn of the Japanese deaths, sadly.

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