Kwasi Kwarteng, British secretary of state for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, highlighted the role of nuclear power in a statement to the House of Commons this week to mark six months since the publication of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 10-point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. During the subsequent debate, Members of Parliament quizzed Kwarteng on the government’s commitment to nuclear new build. Charlotte Nichols, the Labour Party’s MP for Warrington North, said that thousands of her constituents work in the nuclear sector, which only this week has seen students from Warrington University Technical College beginning prestigious degree apprenticeships at Sellafield in Warrington. This is proof, she said, that the sector is “a vital partner” in the skills and levelling-up agendas, meeting the UK’s decarbonisation goals and creating high-quality green jobs. “The government have rightly concluded that we need much more nuclear power in the mix to reach net zero. However, under their watch, three large-scale nuclear projects have been abandoned due to the lack of a financing mechanism, which the government claim to have been working on for four years. Why is nuclear financing more complicated than nuclear science?” Nichols was referring to the abandoned Wylfa Newydd, Oldbury and Moorside projects, and to the fact EDF is waiting for the government’s decision on the proposed regulated asset base model to finance its planned Sizewell C project. Last December, the government announced it would begin talks with EDF to enable investment in Sizewell C. That announcement was part of the Energy White Paper that outlines “historic plans” to clean up the country’s energy system and “keep bills affordable” as it transitions to net zero. Kwarteng replied that the third of the Prime Minister’s 10 points was “expressly committed to nuclear power”.
World Nuclear News 21st May 2021 read more »