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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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100 jobs are under threat at Sellafield project

Up to 100 construction workers at Sellafield could lose their jobs after work was suspended on a major project.

Vinci Construction and Nuvia told staff on Wednesday that redundancies were likely.

They are main sub-contractors on a project to build the Silos Direct Encapsulation Plant.

A spokesman for Sellafield Ltd said that work was being done to limit the number of redundancies.

He added: “It is in no way a reflection on the performance of the contractors who have been working hard to accelerate the site based work on the project over recent months.”

A project review has led to construction work being temporarily suspended in order to focus on essential engineering work.

The spokesman said this suspension was likely to last months rather than weeks.

He said Sellafield Ltd had a duty to ensure it provided value for money for taxpayers.

He said no funding was pulled by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority or the Government and that the decision was not linked to the Evaporator D project.

The NDA has been accused of underestimating the spiralling costs and delays of the Evaporator D project – the biggest nuclear construction project in the UK.

One of the workers affected by the suspended project, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he and his colleagues were hoping to find out about their future in the next week.

He said that a few people had already left the project to start finding new jobs.

He added: “A number of us have been recruited for less than three months and when we were taken on we were told there would be a minimum of four years of work.

“Nobody is very happy at the moment, we are all a bit solemn and subdued.

“I certainly feel betrayed, as I was made unemployed and I turned a job down for this one because it was four years of work and it was right on my doorstep.”

A spokesperson for construction union UCATT, which has around 25 members working on the project, said: “We are bitterly disappointed that these redundancies are being considered.

“Work was promised for several years, but it is our understanding that due to the Government withdrawing the required funding people are facing the loss of their jobs.”

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