The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told nuclear industry bosses the government wants the UK to get 25 per cent of its electricity from nuclear power.
This would be a significant boost from current generation levels – which sit at 16 per cent – with half of the UK’s nuclear power outage set to phased out over the decade.
Johnson met with top nuclear bosses yesterday as the government looks to accelerate the rollout of the country’s nuclear projects amid soaring energy costs and the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a meeting at Downing Street, Johnson laid out a vision for nuclear energy to form a central pillar of the national energy strategy which the government is expected to publish in the coming weeks.
Ministers are scrambling to establish energy independence and sever the country’s energy ties with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, which has seen energy prices rocket on top of an existing spike.
Nuclear bosses laid out potential projects and technologies in development across the country including larger nuclear power plants such as the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant near Bridgwater in Somerset, and smaller modular reactor projects.
Ministers are looking at smaller modular reactors as a means of fast-tracking the nuclear rollout while larger scale projects are under development.
Boss of the Nuclear Industry Association Tom Greatrex told City A.M. that rapid action was now critical.
“Accelerating nuclear projects is absolutely essential to keep energy costs down, cut expensive gas imports and strengthen our energy security as we move towards net zero,” he said.
“That means urgently investing in a fleet of large and small nuclear stations, alongside renewable investment, to deliver the clean, sovereign power we need.”
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Helen Whatley also attended the roundtable.
The meeting came as Kwarteng claimed the government was aiming to “reverse 30 years of drift and delay” on nuclear power.
Johnson is now set to meet with wind industry bosses to discuss enhancing the country’s supply of wind power.