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Don't rule out the nuclear options says ICE

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NUCLEAR POWER should be part of the UK's energy mix, the ICE has told the Department of Trade and Industry's energy review.

The ICE's submission urges the government to include nuclear power to the tune of 20-25% of the UK energy mix.

Nuclear currently provides 8% of Britain's energy.

'For the security of energy supply, a sensible mix of energy sources is needed, ' said energy board vice chairman Anthony Price, adding that the board was not pro-nuclear but thought it irresponsible to exclude it from the energy mix.

But the ICE admits that new nuclear build would not contribute signifi antly to the UK's 2020 target for cutting C0 2 or cover the short-term shortfall in generation caused by the decommissioning of old nuclear reactors.

All bar one of Britain's nuclear plants will be shut by 2023. The lead time for new plants is estimated to be 15 years.

As well as throwing its support behind nuclear power, the ICE also called for prelicensing, which will remove the public's ability to object to a nuclear power station on safety grounds.

To help shorten the lead time to new build and lessen the risk to investors, the ICE is also asking the government to fund the regulatory and planning costs.

Price explained that this approach would inspire confidence in investors, but added that a uniform process is needed across all sectors so as not to destabilise the energy market.

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