Specifying nuclear power is not the route to energy security claimed the House of Commons Trade and Industry Committee this week in its conclusions on new nuclear power.
The committee 'believe that, in determining its policy on the future of nuclear energy, there are a number of issues that the Government needs to address.'Its report added 'most of the technical objections to nuclear power, such as the availability of fuel and the carbon profile of nuclear power stations, have answers. Political issues, such as security and proliferation, are matters of judgement.'Importantly the committee said that nuclear power is not the solution to energy security 'we do not believe that the way to energy security is for the Government to fix the proportion of the energy mix that should come from particular technologies.' 'Rather, it should ensure a fair competitive environment for existing technologies, while supporting innovation in new ones.'It said that it can accept new nuclear under four conditions:- A broad national consensus on the role of nuclear power, that has both cross-party political support and wider public backing;- A carbon-pricing framework that provides long-term incentives for investment in all low carbon technologies;- A long-term storage solution in place for the UK's existing radioactive waste legacy; and - A review of the planning and licensing system to reduce the lead time for construction.