Prospective candidates have been quizzed on three key issues around industry in Copeland.

They have been asked:

  • If they would still push for a new generation power plant in West Cumbria after the collapse of NuGen’s £15bn development at the Moorside site adjacent to Sellafield
  • If they would support a nuclear waste storage facility in Copeland as part of the Government’s scheme to identify a location for a £12 billion geological disposal facility
  • Their views on apprenticeship wages after calls were made for parts of the nuclear industry to pay the Living Wage 

Here’s what they had to say on each issue.


Trudy Harrison (Conservative): I have never stopped pushing for a plant in West Cumbria and specifically on the Moorside site.  I have worked with a number of reactor companies across the world in collaboration with our community and industry leaders. Following my work with Government in Parliament and with the nuclear supply chain, Rolls-Royce consortium has confirmed its commitment to Moorside. Multiple small reactors on Moorside will generate local jobs and a pipeline of work.

Tony Lywood (Labour): Mrs Harrison said in 2017 said that she would secure Moorside. Where is it? We need to invest in new nuclear power stations at a governmental level.

John Studholme (Liberal Democrat): Liberal Democrats accept that nuclear power can play a role in electricity supply, provided concerns about safety, disposal of waste and cost are adequately addressed. The Nugen plans for three 1100 Mw reactors at Moorside alongside Sellafield are unlikely to materialise. However there is now an alternative proposal for new nuclear power generation at Sellafield. These can be manufactured offsite, and installed on-site with less difficulty and more quickly than larger nuclear reactors. Liberal Democrats support this proposal.

Jack Lenox (Green): No. A new nuclear power plant doesn’t make economic, logistical or environmental sense. We need a Green New Deal to diversify the economy of West Cumbria.

Nuclear waste storage facility

Trudy Harrison: It is the responsibility of our generation to safely manage the waste currently located at Sellafield. 
The decision on how to manage and store high level radioactive waste - whether that’s in a deep geological disposal facility, or near/sub/below surface - should be based on geological suitability, engineering capability and geographical safety.

Tony Lywood: High level nuclear waste needs to be disposed of underground close to Sellafield (2000 cubic metres or an Olympic swimming pool size). Used nuclear fuel and plutonium could run power for future generations and should not be disposed of. 

John Studholme: Long-term disposal of intermediate nuclear waste remains a controversial issue. Two issues are whether to bury waste deep or shallow, and should the material be retrievable. When these are resolved, West Cumbria must remain a possible future site, given its long experience of managing these materials. Short term storage should be shallow and retrievable.

Jack Lenox: Every level of local government in Cumbria has repeatedly opposed burying nuclear waste here. There is widespread public opposition to it. I don’t know why we’re even still talking about it.
Apprentice wages

Trudy Harrison: As the Government’s Apprenticeship Ambassador, I have met with hundreds of apprentices, training providers and employers.  There is no doubt about it, the variety and quality of apprenticeships offered in Copeland is outstanding. My priority is ensuring that this continues.

Tony Lywood: Moves towards a living wage for apprentices should be supported but carefully and over time. 
Companies have a duty to invest in our young people.

John Studholme: Effective apprenticeships offer massive benefits to employers and to the economy. 
Lib Dems will expand and improve apprenticeship training with much better funding for FE colleges. 18+ apprentices should be properly paid by employers in line with living wage standards.

Jack Lenox: We have millions of people in this country living in working poverty. It is not tolerable to allow companies to employ people on a wage that isn’t high enough for them to live on.