Energy minister Charles Hendry has reiterated the government’s support for new nuclear be saying he wants Britain to be a “serious nuclear nation again”.
Hendry said the UK has the ambition to be the “number one destination” for nuclear power station builders and investors and the government is working towards achieving that.
“We need a message to go out to the world that the UK is open for business,” said Hendry, speaking at this week’s Nuclear Industry Association’s Nuclear New Build conference 2011 yesterday.
The government hopes to make the UK much more attractive for new nuclear through its energy market reforms. This includes setting a carbon price and a contract for difference which is intended to give investor confidence.
Details of the new proposals will be presented in a white paper due to go before Parliament before summer recess on 19 July.
“Make no doubt about the government’s commitment to new nuclear,” Hendry added.
Hendry said government is determined to learn lessons from Fukushima but nuclear has a strong safety record in the UK.
Hendry also warned if the UK followed the decision made Germany, Austria and Switzerland to scrap nuclear it could cost consumers up to £65bn.
EdF chief executive office Vincent de Rivaz said that Britain has displayed “strong leadership” since the Fukushima disaster by avoiding any knee-jerk reactions.