The UK will miss climate change targets unless six new nuclear power stations are built by 2030, warns business body the CBI.
16GW of new nuclear will need to be built in to displace CO2-emitting power stations, they say - 10-12 reactors, based at 6-10 new plants, which would be built on existing nuclear sites.
They say in a report, ‘Forging a Nuclear Renaissance: Making new nuclear a reality’, published today that without a significant shift in energy policy, the private sector will not be able to build these new stations.
The CBI says renewable energy is subsidised at the expense of other low-carbon power sources, including nuclear. CBI Director of Business Environment, Dr Neil Bentley, said: “With most existing nuclear plants due to close within ten years, we urgently need new reactors to come on stream.
“Nuclear power can play a key role in cutting carbon emissions and bolstering energy security. It needs to be part of a broad-based energy mix that includes wind and other renewable sources, gas and clean coal.
“The forthcoming national planning statements should deliver a firm commitment to building new nuclear power by identifying enough sites to accommodate the scale of new reactors that will be needed. Meanwhile, the new Infrastructure Planning Commission should hit the ground running and take steps to speed up the planning regime, so firms can invest in new energy projects with confidence,” he said.
The CBI says steps must urgently be taken:
- Publish National Policy Statements for new nuclear build as quickly as possible.
- Set up a joint government-industry task force to explore whether an additional market mechanism is needed to incentivise the volume of low-carbon generation that must be built.
- Deliver a long-term nuclear waste solution for the UK.
- Provide support for companies involved in the nuclear supply chain.
Businesses are also urged to maintain nuclear skills capacity and build a dialogue with the public.