Thanks to radical climate activists, governments around the world are planning to build hundreds of new nuclear power plants. New nuclear reactors are also a vital part of Boris Johnson’s pledge to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
The UK government is considering funding Sizewell C, a new nuclear reactor plant in Suffolk. Most of Britain’s nuclear reactors are due to shut down in the next ten years.
A Chinese state company which has a 20 per cent stake in Sizewell C is reported to be pulling out, increasing the need for new investors. More nuclear reactors are now likely to be built in Britain in coming years.
Nuclear Developers Dust Off Plans for More Reactors in U.K.
Nuclear power developers are refreshing plans for new reactors in the U.K. after speculation that the government could be willing to support building more plants than the industry had been expecting.
A little-noticed paper issued by the Treasury on Nov. 25 said it is important that the U.K. can “maintain options by pursuing additional large-scale nuclear projects,” assuming they can be done in a cost-effective way. That wording, with a notable plural on the word “projects,” went beyond a recommendation made two years ago that Britain should build only one more major atomic facility.
After years of waiting for a signal, the document was read by nuclear industry executives as evidence that energy policy could be shifting their way. They anticipate the government may soon look more favorably on nuclear after more than a decade of tilting toward renewables. Electricite de France SA, Hitachi Ltd. and China General Nuclear Power Corp are looking at ways to revive designs that were shelved in the past few years.
“Large-scale projects have a bright future in Britain if the government backs a financing model to cut the cost of capital,” said Tom Greatrex, chief executive officer of the Nuclear Industry Association. “There are a number of viable sites. We need low-carbon power that we can count on to fill the gaps when the wind is down.”
For its part, government insists its policy on nuclear hasn’t changed — even with all the debate about exiting the European Union. It’s allowing EDF to seek planning permission for the Sizewell plant in east England, but ministers have been quiet about what, if any, further plants might win favor.