Magnox to cut up to 1,600 jobs at nuclear power sites

Bradwell nuclear site Image copyright Magnox
Image caption The Bradwell nuclear site, in the process of decommissioning.

Magnox has said it plans to cut up to 1,600 jobs across 12 of its nuclear power sites by September 2016.

The company says the cuts will include staff, agency and contract roles.

Magnox said: "The mission to safely decommission the Magnox sites has always predicted reducing staff numbers over the coming years."

The Unite trade union said the news was "shocking" and the move would lead to "a loss of vital skills and expertise in the nuclear industry".

Its national officer for energy, Kevin Coyne, said the union would be seeking an urgent meeting with the company and campaigning for no compulsory redundancies.

Eleven of the plants have already stopped generating power, while the plant at Wylfa on Anglesey in North Wales is due to close next year.

"These proposed reductions arise from planned step downs in the work programme at a number of sites and the implementation of a more streamlined operating model for delivering decommissioning," the company said.

"We will seek wherever possible for these reductions to be through voluntary means and we will endeavour to retrain staff in roles where we are currently reliant on agency resources."

The company added: "We are now going through a period of formal collective consultation with our recognised trade unions and individual consultation and counselling staff before an appropriate best fit exercise begins."

A Magnox representative told the BBC that some of these job losses were expected, since the company has been gradually decommissioning its nuclear sites for the past ten years.

Throughout the process, "safety is the crucial protocol", said Haf Morris, a press officer for Magnox.

Magnox's nuclear sites:

• Berkeley, Gloucestershire

• Bradwell, Essex

• Chapelcross, Dumfriesshire

• Dungeness A, Kent

• Harwell, Oxfordshire

• Hinkley Point A, Somerset

• Hunterston A, Ayrshire

• Oldbury, Gloucestershire

• Sizewell A, Suffolk

• Trawsfynydd, North Wales

• Winfrith, Dorset

• Wylfa, Anglesey, North Wales

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