Britain launches £75m nuclear fuel fund in renewed bid to wean UK off Russian energy
The UK will continue to wean itself off dependence on Russian energy by ramping up nuclear fuel investment by £75m a year.
Minister of State for Energy and Climate Graham Stuart announced the increase as the Kremlin’s war against Kyiv moves into 2023, and Europe looks to further isolate Moscow.
The government will back nuclear fuel production with up to £75m to encourage investment, with a view to securing 24GW of nuclear power by 2050.
This comes after G7 leaders agreed to reduce reliance on goods from Russia in June last year , in direct response to its invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin currently controls 20 per cent of the world’s uranium conversion capacity and 40 per cent of its enrichment capacity.
The £75m nuclear fuel fund will encourage investment into the development of domestic fuel production and technologies, including conversion capacity.
Of the funding, £13m has already been awarded to the Lancashire town of Preston with the remaining £50m now open for bidding today.
Graham Stuart, said: “Record high global gas prices, caused by Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, have highlighted the need for more home-grown renewable energy, but also UK generated nuclear power – building more plants, and developing domestic fuel capability.”
“This investment package will strengthen the UK’s energy security, by ensuring access to a safe and secure supply of UK produced fuel to power the UK nuclear fleet of today and tomorrow – squeezing out Russian influence, while creating more UK jobs and export opportunities.
Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association Tom Greatrex, said: “Having the sovereign capability to manufacture next generation nuclear fuels for advanced reactors of the future is vital for energy security and net zero.”
“It will also open up export opportunities for the UK, helping us reclaim our place as world leaders in the fuels sector.”