Respected scientist says UK must build new nuclear reactors

A former chief scientist says that the UK should plan and build more nuclear power plants if it is to cut emissions and secure energy supplies in the coming decades.

PA reports that Professor Sir David King said there was "no question" more reactors were needed than the new fleet - which will simply replace the UK's the existing nuclear power plants due to close by 2025 - and the Government must do more to support them.

He claimed reform of the electricity market to provide long-term contracts for low-carbon energy generation and a minimum price for credits to cover carbon pollution, benefiting "clean" nuclear, were not enough to encourage the sector.

"What we calculated was that we can only reduce emissions by 80 per cent by mid century by moving all the heating and transport sectors onto the grid, which will double demand by mid century," he said.

And there was an economic imperative in making the transition, with oil imports creating a "gaping hole in our balance of payments compared with 1999," when the country was producing far more fossil fuels domestically, he said.

Having to import all our transport fuels would leave us 95 billion US dollars worse off than in 1999, with oil prices at 100 dollars a barrel, he said. Brent crude is currently at around 125 US dollars per barrel.

But building around 27 nuclear power plants, which could be accommodated on the UK's existing sites - which have already been earmarked for the new fleet of reactors - could deliver twice the amount of power currently planned.

This would allow transport and heating to switch away from expensive fossil fuel imports to electricity.

For more nuclear power news



Did You Like this Article? Get All the Energy Industry News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to an email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

Whitepapers

Maximizing Operational Excellence

In a recent survey conducted by PennEnergy Research, 70% of surveyed energy industry professional...

Leveraging the Power of Information in the Energy Industry

Information Governance is about more than compliance. It’s about using your information to drive ...

Reduce Engineering Project Complexity

Engineering document management presents unique and complex challenges. A solution based in Enter...

Revolutionizing Asset Management in the Electric Power Industry

With the arrival of the Industrial Internet of Things, data is growing and becoming more accessib...