The UK’s nuclear industry has demonstrated its flexibility and inherent safety culture during the COVID-19 crisis, and ought to be given a key role in the country’s low-carbon economic recovery, World Nuclear Association said in interviews with the BBC this week. The UK, which just a decade ago sourced more than 40% of its electricity from coal, will tonight pass a significant landmark in energy production as it goes two full months without this fossil fuel. The falling price of renewables is part of a “fundamental shift in the economics of energy”, the BBC said. Since the start of the year, renewable energy has accounted for 30% of the UK’s electricity, fossil fuels for 35% and nuclear for 18%. Asked whether nuclear energy was “being squeezed out” of the electricity mix, Agneta Rising, director general of World Nuclear Association, said nuclear had shown its ability to respond to decreased electricity demand during the lockdown as the only source of flexible and low-carbon baseload generation. All forms of low-carbon power generation will be needed for the UK to achieve its target of net-zero by 2050, she said, but without nuclear, deep decarbonisation will not be achievable. Fuel for nuclear power plants can be stored on-site for several years, she said, and a plant can operate for 12-18 months before it needs to be refuelled.
World Nuclear News 9th June 2020 read more »