Despite calls for more investment in renewables and clean energy, UK business minister John Hutton has pledged ‘maximum support’ for new nuclear power stations in the UK.
At the first meeting of the Government’s new Nuclear Development Forum Mr Hutton said that energy from new nuclear generators is indispensable for keeping the UK’s lights on, reducing dependency on foreign oil and gas, and cutting carbon emissions.
Hutton said: “I’m determined to press all the buttons to get nuclear built in this country at the earliest opportunity – not only because it’s a no-brainer for our energy security, but also because it’s good for jobs and our economy.
“We’re facing stiff competition for this investment and for the equipment we’ll need to build these power stations which is why I’m determined to ensure Britain remains a competitive environment for nuclear investment.
“I know many manufacturers across the country already have the skills and expertise needed to build power stations – but more needs to be done to create and support a globally competitive UK supply chain, focussing on high value added activities to take advantage of the UK and global nuclear renaissance.”
On the same day as Hutton’s call, the UK government was due to publish its response to the consultation on the Funded Decommissioning Programme guidance. The new guidance, to be finalised following the Royal Assent of the Energy Bill, reiterates the Government’s policy that nuclear operators – not taxpayers – will have to meet the full cost of decommissioning and their full share of waste management and disposal