Nuclear power still has a “key role” in keeping Britain’s lights on and reducing carbon emissions, the new UK energy minister has said, rejecting suggestions that the government was cooling on plans for a new generation of reactors. The nuclear industry was rattled by the absence of any commitment to nuclear power in the Conservative party manifesto before this month’s general election. But Richard Harrington, a Tory MP who moved from his previous job as pensions minister after the election, said nuclear power still had “a big part to play” in maintaining UK energy security and meeting climate goals. His comments at a nuclear industry conference in London came days after the National Audit Office criticised the government for a “risky an d expensive” deal with EDF of France to build Britain’s first new reactors since the 1990s at Hinkley Point in Somerset. EDF confirmed this week that it was conducting a review of Hinkley’s cost and timetable after a report in French newspaper Le Monde claimed that the £18bn budget was set to rise by 1bn-3bn euros and the expected completion date to slip by two years to 2027. The negative headlines about Hinkley have been seized on by critics who say nuclear power is being left behind by the falling cost of renewable energy. However, Mr Harrington said nuclear remained part of the government’s plans for a “diverse mix of energy assets” delivering “reliable and affordable” electricity. “Constructive” talks had been held with Horizon and NuGen, the Japanese-owned companies planning new reactors in Wales and Cumbria, he added.
FT 27th June 2017 read more »
Nothing should be read into the omission of support for the nuclear industry in the Conservative manifesto, the newly appointed energy minister has said. Richard Harrington, who was appointed parliamentary under-secretary state at the Department for business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) a fortnight ago, said the government remained committed to the nuclear sector in a speech today.
Utility Week 27th June 2017 read more »
Merseyside shipyard and engineering company Cammell Laird has been awarded around £200,000 in Government funding to develop the concept of building off-site modules for nuclear new build projects. Cammell Laird energy division managing director Jonathan Brown said the funding from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) would be used run a series of events examining how best to build and test large modules at ‘off-site’ locations before transporting them to nuclear sites for installation.
Business Desk 28th June 2017 read more »