Nuclear Industry Welcomes “Clear” Government Energy Framework

The UK’s civil nuclear trade association has welcomed today’s publication of the Government’s finalised National Policy Statements (NPS) following ext

Keith Parker, Chief Executive of the NIA

The NPS provide a “clear pathway” for the UK’s energy future, according to Keith Parker, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association.

He welcomed their publication, which provides the framework for planning for major energy infrastructure projects at a time when Britain’s generating capacity is set to diminish. The nuclear-specific NPS identifies eight sites deemed suitable by the Government for potential new nuclear power stations. The eight sites are: Bradwell in Essex; Hartlepool; Heysham in Lancashire; Hinkley Point in Somerset; Oldbury in Gloucestershire; Sellafield in Cumbria; Sizewell in Suffolk; and Wylfa on Anglesey. All sites are adjacent to existing nuclear sites.

“The Government is showing clear leadership at a time when the UK must move forward with major energy developments including new nuclear power stations. We will lose a quarter of our electricity generation capability by the end of the decade so we must be planning ahead to ensure our future supplies,” said Keith Parker.

“We warmly welcome the Government’s clarity and open and transparent handling of such key policy, and their acknowledgement that nuclear power is a hugely significant part of Britain’s energy future. Nuclear is vital in securing a low-carbon, stablypriced energy source into future decades, and we applaud the Government’s commitment in planning for that secure future.”

The NPS announcement is the first major nuclear policy announced by Government since the Fukushima incident that followed the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Last month Secretary of State Chris Huhne laid before Parliament the interim findings of the UK’s independent nuclear regulator, Dr Mike Weightman into the events at Fukushima.

Huhne said at the time the circumstances surrounding the natural disaster in Japan “are far beyond the most extreme events the UK could expect to experience. In this respect Dr Weightman concludes there is no reason for curtailing the operation of nuclear plants or other nuclear facilities in the UK.”

The plans for new nuclear power plants are part of a series of national policy statements which were laid before Parliament today following an extensive public consultation. The next stage will see them debated and voted on in Parliament.

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 18


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