The UK’s Minister of State for Energy, John Hayes announced the government’s Nuclear Supply Action Plan at the UK Nuclear Industry Association’s annual conference on Thursday.
Telling his audience that there is ‘none more pro-nuclear than me’; the minister spoke at length on the importance of nuclear power to Britain’s energy security and of its potential as an export.
“Let us be in no doubt as to what is stake. Government will increase its efforts to ensure the nuclear expertise here is recognized beyond our shores. It is vitally important to secure our energy needs but there is a significant export opportunity to be taken too.”
The plan includes details on the establishment of a Nuclear Industry Council that is set to hold its first meeting in early 2013.
The release of the action plan follows the launch of a new campaign that is seeking to generate around 500 jobs at the Sellafield nuclear site in West Cumbria, northwest England.
The plan is intended to ensure that the UK nuclear supply chain is competitive.
“Our Action Plan for the nuclear supply chain will set out how the UK can make the most of future opportunities presented by around £60bn of new investment.”
The minister later spoke about how the short term outlook of politics had previously delayed decision-making on Britain’s energy future.
He also defended the inclusion of nuclear as a technology supported under low-carbon payments through the Contracts for Difference scheme, a move that has been criticized by the Committee on Climate Change.
“Nuclear is part of that low carbon future and the reasons are clear – certainty and stability that delivers our energy security and satisfies emissions commitments – it’s a win-win.”
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