After Germany, Italy and Switzerland turned their back on nuclear power for good, the UK Government has today confirmed eight sites deemed suitable for new nuclear power stations. The announcement comes as part of a series of national policy statements on energy which has been published today following a public consultation.
The plants, which are proposed for construction before 2025, are all adjacent to existing nuclear sites and include Bradwell, Essex; Hartlepool; Heysham, Lancashire; Hinkley Point, Somerset; Oldbury, South Gloucestershire; Sellafield, Cumbria; Sizewell, Suffolk; and Wylfa, Anglesey.
Government claims that nuclear power generation is a low carbon, proven technology, which is anticipated to play an increasingly important role as the UK moves to diversify and decarbonise our sources of electricity. The idea of renewables has been cast to one side.
“Renewables are not capable on their own of meeting our future needs for electricity generation,” the NPS Nuclear Power Generation claims.
The plans will now be the topic of debate in Parliament, to be voted on in coming months. Ministers are said to be hopeful of a positive outcome, since the Commons contains a pro-nuclear majority.
The announcement comes three months after the Fukushima disaster in Japan.