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Nuclear industry calls for new UK reactors as ‘priority’

Ministers are under pressure to launch a government agency to develop a new fleet of reactors in the UK “as a priority” after delays caused by funding disputes between the Treasury and the business sector.

British engineering giant Rolls-Royce, US nuclear power group Westinghouse, trade union prospects and several bipartisan MPs have sent a letter to the government calling for the urgent launch of the Great British Nuclear (GBN). sent to

Last year, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to create a new agency when he set a target of 24 gigawatts of nuclear power capacity by 2050, months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The goal was to meet a quarter of the UK’s projected electricity needs and enhance domestic energy security. The UK currently has 5.88GW of nuclear capacity.

GBN is intended as an agency to develop new nuclear power projects and provide funding to enable governments and investors to make final investment decisions and begin construction.

Successive governments, dating back to the Margaret Thatcher administration in the late 1970s, have promised large new fleets of new nuclear power plants, but the cost and complexity of nuclear energy have prevented these ambitions from being realized and the private sector. Companies often stayed away from potential projects.

nuclear power It is also being heavily contested by environmental groups who claim it is costly and leaves behind highly toxic waste.

Nuclear power companies and trade unions are skeptical that GBN will finally deliver new reactors as the country’s five existing nuclear plants, which met 15.5% of the country’s electricity demand last year, are rapidly aging. I hope By 2028, four of the current five plants will be decommissioned.

But the launch of GBN held up By a funding dispute between the Treasury Department and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Prospects is a trade union representing engineers, scientists and other professionals in both the public and private sectors.

The letter was signed by MPs including Charlotte Nichols, a Labor MP for Warrington North. Mark Menzies, Field’s Conservative MP. Simon Fell, Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness.

“All but one of the UK’s existing reactors will be retired by the end of 2010, and this capacity will have to be replaced. is accelerating, stimulated by the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act,” the letter said.

“The UK must not become obsessed with the familiar pattern of delays and broken promises that has hampered its nuclear ambitions in the past,” it added.

Signatories to the letter, which also includes the Northern Powerhouse Partnership of civil and business leaders in northern England, warned that the GBN would need to be “fully funded” to realize the country’s latest ambitions.

Previous attempts to build large-scale new reactor fleets have failed as successive governments have relied on private companies to carry out projects. Given the complexity of the technology, experts say government funding is needed in the early stages.

The government said:

“It has been developed in close collaboration with industry and is certainly equipped and capable of realizing the government’s ambitions.”

https://www.ft.com/content/86689352-2840-4d76-9bf8-f26fe28a8566 Nuclear industry calls for new UK reactors as ‘priority’

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