Government’s plans for nuclear power aim to generate growth

Marion Dakers
THE GOVERNMENT has renewed its vow to generate more of the country’s electricity from nuclear energy, but the timetable for building much-needed power stations has slipped.

The Nuclear Industry Strategy, published yesterday, also fell short of announcing a minimum price paid to atomic power producers, which has been a stumbling block for Hinkley Point builder EDF in recent months.

The coalition’s strategy sets out an aim to generate 16 gigawatts of power from nuclear by 2030 – later than its previous goal of 2025. All but one of the country’s existing nuclear plants are due to close by the year 2023.

Several energy firms have pulled out of British nuclear projects including E.ON and RWE, who sold the Horizon project to Hitachi last year, and Centrica, which exited the Hinkley Point venture with EDF, a scheme that was valued by the government yesterday at £12bn to £14bn.

The government has also set aside £15m to fund research and development in nuclear, as it tries to encourage UK workers to join an industry worth close to £1 trillion.