Hundreds of jobs axed as nuclear site set to close.
The Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (Thorp) at Sellafield in Cumbria, which employs around 800 workers, is to close in 2018 after current contracts are completed, it was confirmed yesterday. The Prospect union said the news had come as a "great disappointment", adding that only a fraction of the existing workforce will remain during the clean-out phase prior to decommissioning.
National officer Mike Graham said: "Today's announcement comes as a great disappointment to our members at Thorp who believe firmly that the plant has a future and have been actively campaigning for new reprocessing contracts.
"The announcement, though not surprising, is sudden and it is fair to say that the way this was communicated to the workforce could have been better.
"The closure will see a reduction in the numbers employed on the plant once operations cease, with only a fraction of the existing staff remaining during the clean-out phase prior to decommissioning."
Prospect said it will press the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on the potential redeployment of staff affected by the decision.
The authority said in a statement that the closure decision was confirmed after it completed a strategic review of the options for the management of oxide fuels.
It added that the plant would be cleaned and then de-commissioned after 2018.