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Formerly the National Campaign for the Nuclear Industry (NCNI) which was formed in 1986. nUKlear21 "believes nuclear power is an energy source for the 21st century and we have embodied that in our name" and campaigns on behalf of all nuclear workers and communities throughout the UK.

The "organisation came into being to defend our industry against the many and various organisations such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth who campaign to have our industry closed down. On 17 July 2001, the NCNI approved a series of wide-ranging changes to improve our organisation and our effectiveness including adopting the new name of nUKlear 21."

"Our new name marked a new approach to our campaigning from merely defending civil nuclear power to actively promoting it as an environmentally friendly non-global warming energy source for the 21st century."

"So today, as well campaigning for our long established demand for a balanced energy policy in which nuclear plays its part, we now argue for the UK to embark on a programme of replacement nuclear build." Its website is at [1]


nUKlear21 consists of the following unions:

Main Personnel

  • Howard Rooms - the National Secretary - Rooms is a shop steward at Sellafield, and a member of UCATT

Lobbying and Campaigning Activity

The Concept of "Greenhouse Free"

In November 2004, nUKclear21 and the colliery deputies' union, NACODS "agreed to forge a joint coal and nuclear workers campaign for a 'Secure Energy - Made in Britain' energy policy."

The two sides had first met at the TUC Conference in September 2003, but formalised the agreement in November 2004. "What has changed since September 2003 is that two groups of energy workers - from two industries that have never been allies - have joined forces to help each other and help the country develop a coherent, secure and balanced energy policy." [2]

In January 2005, Howard Rooms and Peter Kane from the GMB lobbied the recently formed European Parliament Forum for the Future of Nuclear Energy. According to Rooms "We first came to the European Parliament some 10 years ago. One of the most important things we have noticed in that time is that more and more the tide of opinion, scientific, environmental and public is shifting towards favouring the construction of new nuclear power stations ... we are now campaigning to encourage the government to create the conditions, as the White Paper has done for renewables, that will make the replacement of the UK's ageing nuclear stations a commercially viable proposition." [3]

In April 2005, nUKlear21 launched its new website [4]. An email sent by Howard Rooms to colleagues at BNFL said: "Our website is now up and runnig ... The link has already been sent to our friends in both Westminster and Holyrood along with Ministers, policy group. Any 'other' key players you can think of would be welcome." [H. Rooms (2005) Email to J. Tear, Sellafield, 7 April]

Later that month, Rooms "appealed to all candidates in the General Election to back the call for a new Department for Energy and a new Cabinet post of Secretary of State for Energy. Rooms said: 'Our Government has admitted the UK will fail to meet its target of a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2010. At the same time, the emission of one of the most damaging greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide - is 3% higher than when Labour came to power in 1997 and rising.

Rooms also highlighted the benefits of what he called 'greenhouse gas free nuclear power,' and argued for an urgent need for a new generation of nuclear power stations to replace the UK's ageing nuclear fleet. [5]

In response to Blair's announcement of the energy review on November 2005, Rooms said: "The review is long overdue and we welcome the Prime Minister's specific mention of nuclear power ...Nuclear power is virtually CO2 free and we will be arguing for a new generation of nuclear power stations to replace the UK's ageing ones."

"He continued: "Two nuclear workforces and communities have already declared in public that they will be delighted to see a new nuclear power station in their areas. Nuclear workers at Chapelcross in Scotland and Calder Hall in Sellafield, West Cumbria are campaigning for new nuclear power plants on the sites of their old Magnox nuclear stations now being decommissioned and defuelled. For the sake of our environment and our planet they need all the support they can get. [6]

Funded by BNFL

In March 2006, just after BNFL's spin doctor, Philip Dewhurst had admitted to trade journal PR Week that the company was using "third parties" to put forward its message, the Sunday Herald reported how BNFL had admitted "that it had been paying 'travel and business expenses' for Nuklear21 union representatives since April 2005. In line with legal obligations, it had also provided paid time off and 'administrative support facilities' such as offices and communication systems". [7]

The Herald also reported that:

Workers from the defunct Chapelcross nuclear plant in Dumfries and Galloway have been touring Scottish party political conferences handing out Nuklear21 leaflets. They claim that nuclear power equals 'atoms for peace' and that 'nuclear will help save the planet'. The group, which is planning a mass lobby of the Westminster parliament later this month, has also sent newsletters to every MSP in Scotland.[8]