New paper reveals sorry state of GB nuclear
London, 8 November – A new paper from the Global Warming Policy Foundation reveals a nuclear industry that is now so dysfunctional it may have no future in the UK without a concerted policy and regulatory effort.
The paper, by energy consultant and Daily Telegraph columnist Kathryn Porter, looks at recent nuclear policy, nuclear technologies, economics, regulation and supply chain issues. Porter is highly pessimistic that a viable future is on the cards absent a significant uptick in ambition from the Government:
“Most of our existing nuclear fleet will close in the next few years, with almost nothing to replace it, and I see little cause for optimism that the economic or regulatory environment will produce significant new capacity any time soon.”
While there are some positive signs – in particular the creation of Great British Nuclear and the willingness to offer some co-funding for small-scale reactors – there is an urgent need to build new large reactors, and here the ambition is lacking.
However, there is a route to success and greater energy security if the Government acts on its promise to develop close co-operation with trusted country regulators. This could enable technologies which are licensed elsewhere see a faster route to market.
GWPF director Dr Benny Peiser said:
“If policymakers are serious about realistic and sustainable decarbonisation policies, they need to be serious about accelerating nuclear power – and swiftly. Kathryn Porter’s paper shows that they are nothing of the sort. The Government needs to adopt a radically different attitude in order to turbo charge a nuclear renaissance.”
The paper is entitled Prospects for Nuclear Power in the UK, and can be downloaded here (pdf)