Fuel deal hope for jobs

Mark Menzies MP with Gill Wood from Prospect at Westinghouse's Springfields site
Mark Menzies MP with Gill Wood from Prospect at Westinghouse's Springfields site
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Fylde’s MP has pledged his support for hundreds of workers at a nuclear site after the early end of a lucrative contract.

Cameco and Westinghouse have announced they will end a toll-conversion agreement with Springfields Fuels Limited in Salwick with effect from December 31.

It is nearly two years earlier than expected – and means 100 jobs at the plant could be in jeopardy.

But Fylde MP Mark Menzies said he hoped new contracts were in the pipeline which could secure jobs and pledged to help workers.

He added: “During my time as Member of Parliament for Fylde I have hosted a number of meetings between Westinghouse, the unions and two energy ministers.

“On the back of that it was recently announced that three new reactors being built in the UK will use fuel which will be made at Salwick, securing jobs in Fylde for decades to come.

“Although obviously it is not good news about the Cameco contracts, the unions were upbeat about the future for jobs at the site and wanted to reassure their members there will be more highly-skilled engineering employment for years to come.”

Cameco has agreed to pay nearly £11m to Westinghouse to permit early termination of the agreement.

In 2005, Cameco and Westinghouse signed a 10-year agreement to process up to five million kilograms of uranium annually at the Springfields conversion facility.

Mick Gornall, managing director, UK Fuel Operations, said: “Although this is disappointing news, we have a robust business plan going forward – with uranium recovery, a lifetime AGR fuel contract, PWR fuel and intermediates supply, as well as the prospects of new build in the UK and worldwide.

“We intend to manage the resulting impact through redeployment elsewhere in the business, attrition and voluntary severance.”