The death of nuclear generation in the UK
By Lord Redesdale, CEO of the Energy Managers Association
Today in the Lords I will be speaking on two Statuary instruments that concern how the UK will treat nuclear waste after Brexit and pulling out of Euratom. The idiocy of abandoning this international organisation that deals with movement and control of nuclear waste across borders whilst adding the responsibility and cost on to the Office of Nuclear Regulation is an example of the costs that Brexit will incur. This is not a remain rant but a serious problem for the nuclear industry.
The cost of nuclear power has always been high and this move will increase regulatory cost and could sound the death knell of nuclear power generation in the UK.
The recent announcement that Hitachi has scrapped plans to build a nuclear power station the Wylfa plant on Anglesey, following closely on the heels of Toshiba cancelling the Moorside plant means that Britain will be left with only Hinkley Point C as the sole new nuclear plant in the UK. The problems around this plant could lead to its cancellation or at least push back the time it comes on line nearer to 2030 than 2020.
There has always been opposition to nuclear power which I have been part of, however if we are to really go low carbon, nuclear will need to be part of the mix. At present nuclear accounts for ten to twenty five per cent of our power generation, with the closure of all coal the lack of new gas build and the cut in subsidies for wind, where exactly is the UK going to get its power from?