Boris Johnson has announced that the UK Government will “take forward” its “plans for new nuclear power, from large scale to small and advanced modular reactors”, as part of a ’10-point plan’ for tackling climate change.
Though Johnson stopped short of confirming funding for a major new nuclear power plant at Sizewell in Suffolk, he did announce £525 million in funding for new nuclear. It is reported that this will mostly go towards small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs).
The Government is still a long way from investing enough in renewable energy in order for Britain to decarbonise at the necessary speed, and this plan has no serious provisions for phasing out the use of fossil fuels.
In this context, it is even more irresponsible to divert investment away from clean, reliable renewables to new nuclear. It will inevitably lead to delays and spiralling expense.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson commented:
‘There is no clean nuclear. Whatever the size, nuclear power stations are dirty, dangerous, and expensive. We need to decarbonise as fast possible, but the best way to do that is through huge investment in renewables.
We know that the UK can meet all its energy needs through renewables like offshore wind, and solar. Boris Johnson shouldn’t be diverting investment away from these clean, green technologies of the future.
Fossil fuels and nuclear alike promise catastrophe, and pose a grave threat to human survival. We need to build a world free of both.’