The UK has relied on nuclear power for electricity since the 1950s and Heysham is the UK’s biggest operational site, its reactors generating enough to power four million homes. But it is due to be decommissioned by 2030 and its replacement is uncertain – something true of the whole industry, with the Government struggling to agree funding packages for new stations. Of eight sites for new plants earmarked in 2011 by the then prime minister David Cameron, only one is under construction, Hinkley Point C in Somerset. The £22.5bn project has faced criticism for delays and high energy costs, many people pointing out that wind and solar plants are quicker, cheaper and safer to build. But Martin, Beth and many other advocates argue that the technology provides crucial zero carbon “baseload” power for calm, cloudy days when generation from wind and solar is low. Without nuclear, Britain will struggle to meet its goal of net zero emissions by 2050, they say. “It’s crucial that we start to use nuclear more,” says Beth, and Martin agrees. Everything we use is going to be electric,” he says. “Cars, computers – if you don’t have electric, society will crumble. Powering Britain begins on BBC Two on Thursday at 7.30pm.
iNews 29th Oct 2020 read more »