UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeated his support for new nuclear power. During Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Commons yesterday, Johnson told a member of parliament representing a constituency in Cumbria, “We believe that nuclear power is a significant potential contributor to our Net Zero ambitions, and I look forward to working with my Honourable Friend to ensure that Cumbria continues its long historic tradition as a pioneer of new nuclear technologies.” Johnson expressed his “passionate” support for nuclear power during his first PMQs as UK prime minister in July 2019. During PMQs yesterday, Carlisle MP John Stevenson asked him, “The government wants green energy. The government wants to have security of energy supply. The government wants to boost economic development in the regions. The government wants to encourage apprenticeships and youth employment. The government wants to increase innovation investment and to have a dynamic supply chain. This is all on offer in Cumbria. Will the Prime Minister support, with government financial backing, the building of nuclear power generation facilities in Cumbria?” In June, a group of companies, trade unions and individuals launched an initiative to develop a Clean Energy Hub centred on a package of nuclear projects at Moorside in Cumbria, which is a county in north-west England. The proposal is based on projects including a new 3.2 GW UK EPR plant, as well as small modular reactors and advanced modular reactors, with links to technologies including renewables and hydrogen production.
World Nuclear News 16th July 2020 read more »
We must not allow a potentially hostile foreign power to get a grip on our nuclear industry. The future of the nation’s most critical infrastructure is in the hands of two foreign powers: France and China. There are few areas where Britain has taken a more egregiously muddled approach to industrial policy than telecoms. One of them is nuclear power, where the government has performed a series of tortuous policy backflips which makes the U-turn over Huawei look positively slick. First ministers flogged off Britain’s stake in one of the world’s top reactor developers, Westinghouse, and then all of the nation’s existing fleet of nuclear power stations in the form of British Energy, before embarking on a wholesale renewal of the industry in a quest for carbon-free energy. The result has put the future of the nation’s most critical infrastructure in the hands of two foreign powers: France and China, a nation widely accused of industrial espionage and the routine use of cyberhacking to intimidate its foes. The dismemberment and sale of Britain’s nuclear industry – including the divestment of Westinghouse to Toshiba of Japan in 2006 and British Energy to EDF, French state-owned electricity company, in 2008 – raised a total of £15bn – a decent chunk of change for the Treasury’s coffers. But the figure is dwarfed by the ballooning costs of the new Franco-Chinese reactors Britain is coughing up for now. Nevertheless, even at this late hour it’s still not too late to switch back to a more sensible course of action – and a nuclear policy that would protect British innovation, jobs, skills and exports. Britain still has nuclear expertise and the ability to develop a cheaper, simpler, better home-grown technology to produce carbon-free baseload energy. Small Modular Reactors would build on the expertise of UK engineering companies like Rolls Royce, which has been quietly building and maintaining small nuclear reactors for the Royal Navy’s submarine fleet for decades. Unlike EDF and CGN’s giant EPR and Hualong One reactors – which are highly complex standalone industrial projects which take years to build in situ – SMRs can be built on a factory production line to a standardised design and towed into position on smaller and more compact sites. This week, the government pledged a £40m investment to develop small UK reactors. It’s a promising start but far more could be done to scale it up more quickly and promote it as a better alternative. To allow these two companies to press ahead as planned with further reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex would be ludicrous – and unjustifiable.
Telegraph 16th July 2020 read more »
Nuclear power has a big role to play in the energy transition. Here’s why.
World Economic Forum 10th July 2020 read more »
The Anti-nuclear periodic table – 8 good reasons to be anti-nuclear.
Sortir du Nucleaire 17th July 2020 read more »