Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Government provisionally approves new nuclear plants

The Government yesterday gave its clearest indication yet that it will support the construction of a new generation of nuclear power plants.

Business and Enterprise secretary John Hutton said that the Government had formed the preliminary view that nuclear power was an important part of Britain's future energy mix.

"We must secure our energy supplies for the future," said Hutton.

"Our livelihoods and the future health of the planet depend on us getting this right. It is absolutely in the national interest that we make a decision and urgently.

"We have a preliminary view that nuclear should be able to play a part in providing the energy that we need to keep the lights on and help cut carbon emissions. But it is important that we know what the
public thinks before we take this important decision."

Hutton was speaking after almost 1,000 people told ministers their views about the future of
nuclear power in the UK at last Saturday's 'Talking Energy' events held in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Newcastle and Norwich.

The results from the nine events have been statistically weighted to provide a demographically representative picture of UK public opinion on the issues around nuclear energy. Government says it will use the findings to take a decision on whether it is in the public interest to give companies the option of building new nuclear power stations.

On balance, 44% of people at the events agreed that it would be in the public interest to give energy companies the option of investing in new nuclear power stations; 37% disagreed; 18% neither agreed nor disagreed while 1% didn't know.

The Government's consultation on the future of nuclear power closes on 10 October, which last week saw the early exit of all major green groups.

Groups including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth claimed the consultation was deeply flawed and that the Government had already decided to press ahead with the construction of a new generation of nuclear power plants.

This week also saw power giant EDF Energy and Nuclear specialist Areva this week reveal their joint venture plans for Britain’s next generation of nuclear power plants.

The firms launched a website outlining proposals for their European Pressurised Reactor (EPR), allowing members of the public to comment on the design before the Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency make a final decision on whether it meets the required safety and green credentials.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.