The nuclear industry is very nervous about the future of nuclear power in Britain.
Last week the Nuclear Industry Association sent a confidential letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer pleading with him not to scrap a plan that will force energy bill payers to subsidise the construction of new nuclear power stations.
Adding to the pressure is a new report out this week by the National Infrastructure Commission.
The report argues the case for nuclear power has been weakened by the fall in cost of renewable technologies, and the potential of hydrogen to deliver low cost power and reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The report notes the “costs of building and running nuclear power stations have not fallen consistently, even in countries that have built fleets of similar designed reactors.”
We may find out during the delivery of Wednesday’s budget whether the government has changed its policy to reflect the advice of the Commission’s report.
Kate Hudson, CND general secretary, said: “Government subsidies for the nuclear industry – like a £6 per head levy for Sizewell – are in effect propping up a failed industry, which is why we welcome any plan to scrap them.
“Not only is nuclear power more expensive than renewables, every nuclear power plant built since 1951 has averaged £4 billion in losses. Nuclear also creates an unsolvable waste problem, and as the TV drama Chernobyl so graphically revealed, nuclear accidents create human misery and environmental destruction.
“It seems the government may finally be waking up to these economic and environmental realities.”
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