GMB Scotland at STUC: Nuclear must be part of Scotland’s industrial energy strategy
An industrial strategy deploying a mixture of fuels, including nuclear, is needed to secure Scotland’s energy, GMB Scotland told the STUC.
The union’s delegate John Dolan told the STUC the Scottish Government has so far failed to build a renewables industry despite the country’s natural resources while an ideological opposition to nuclear energy is sabotaging opportunities to deliver new sources of energy.
He said nuclear is a cheap, dependable and safe source of energy with the potential to create skilled jobs while large-scale storage technology for solar and wind power has yet to be developed.
An energy strategy mixing renewables, gas, including hydrogen, and nuclear was urgently needed, he told Congress in Dundee, but would demand political will, investment and the active involvement of workers across the sector.
Moving a motion calling on ministers to ensure Scotland’s industrial energy strategy mixes energy source, including nuclear, and ensures new green energy manufacturing jobs are kept in Scotland, he said: “The need for energy security and affordability has never been greater. The need for an energy mix has never been greater.
“We cannot rely on international markets to meet our energy needs. We have to be able to meet them ourselves here in Scotland. Domestic production must be the foundation in any industrial strategy for energy production and manufacturing.”
However, Dolan told delegates meeting in Caird Hall, in Dundee, both the UK and Scottish governments had failed to address the pressing need for a cohesive energy strategy but said small, modular nuclear reactors must be part of it.
“The problems we face today are not unfortunate mistakes. They have happened by design. Decades of governments which have cared more about PR than they have about delivering for the people that elect them has allowed the private sector to creep into every corner of our economy.
“And households across Scotland are paying the price.”
Dolan said promises of jobs and investment in Scotland’s renewables industry had proved empty as skilled and committed workers in fabrication yards in Scotland, were snubbed as contracts went offshore and assets were sold on the cheap.
“We cannot achieve the energy security and affordability for the years to come without an energy mix which includes oil, gas, nuclear, as well as hydrogen, wind, solar, and tidal.
“If action is not taken soon, a ‘just transition’ will continue happening to workers, not with them, and leave them with nowhere to go.”
The motion, which was backed by the STUC general council, was backed by Congress.
Click on the image below to watch John Dolan, GMB Scotland Activist speaking at STUC Congress 2023 or follow this link: https://bit.ly/3mITFgN