The Government must support new nuclear power – but only to sustain and not grow the industry, an influential select committee has said. The bold conclusion was among a series of recommendations made by the Science and Technology Committee in a report on clean growth, as the Government grapples will the challenge of meeting its legally-binding target to eliminate all CO2 emissions by 2050. The committee piled the pressure on the Government to find a suitable finance framework for nuclear new build by the end of the year, and to back new “value for money” projects in a bid to replace the UK’s ageing nuclear fleet. It was one of ten priorities – along with 10 key areas of shortfall in Government policy – which the committee believes should be tackled if the UK is become Net Zero in a little over three decades. They include bringing forward the date of its proposed ban on the sale of new ‘conventional’ cars and vans to 2035 at the latest; greater incentives for energy efficiency home improvements; a clear plan of action on carbon capture, usage and storage; clean growth regulation of the energy market and more support for local authorities. “Subject to value for money, the Government should seek to support new nuclear power generation so as to sustain, but not grow, the UK’s nuclear power industry. It must anticipate any gap in future generation capacity such a policy would cause and support sufficient renewable power alternatives to fill the gap.” The Government is currently consulting on adapting the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model – which has already been used in the UK to finance electricity, gas, telecoms and transport infrastructure – to financially support large nuclear power stations. The consultation, which finishes on October 14, comes after the model was floated as a way to salvage the £15 billion Moorside nuclear power station in West Cumbria prior to its demise.
Carlisle News & Star 23rd Aug 2019 read more »