A large fire at a substation in Kent has caused the UK to shut down a major interconnector which imports electricity from France. Sue Ferns, Prospect senior deputy general secretary, said: “News that the main French interconnector supplying power to the UK has had to shut down due to a fire highlights the need to get moving on building new nuclear. “With the current fleet of nuclear coming off line in the next few years we are already facing a potential energy gap, and that will only be made worse without electricity via this interconnector. What is clear is that as we attempt to achieve net zero there is a risk we become ever more dependent on energy from overseas instead of generating it ourselves.
Prospect 16th Sept 2021 read more »
Nuclear is the only solution to this energy crisis. Allowing this country’s know-how in nuclear power to atrophy was a huge mistake by the Government. On Thursday, a number of UK steelmakers were also forced to suspend their operations. Last year, energy prices were roughly £50 per megawatt hour. In recent days, UK businesses have been quoted in the thousands of pounds per megawatt hour. The price spikes have been caused by reduced flows from Russia and Norway. Asian countries appear to be buying up most shipments of liquefied natural gas. It certainly doesn’t help that a large fire at the UK’s main electricity subsea cable will reduce imports from France until the end of March. If you wanted to create a top 10 of the worst UK Government policy decisions over the past half century you’d definitely be spoilt for choice. However, allowing this country’s know-how in nuclear power to atrophy, an area in which we used to lead the world, should certainly be up there. The UK established the world’s first civil nuclear programme at Calder Hall in Windscale in 1956. It announced the first prototype fast breeder reactor in Dounreay, Scotland 10 years later. The Government is understood to be supportive of building Sizewell C, a new nuclear power station in Suffolk, which would be a carbon copy of the one being assembled at Hinkley Point in Somerset. However, the Treasury in particular appears to be dragging its feet on the legislation that would set out the financing mechanism for the project. There was nothing in the Queen’s Speech. The reticence is understandable. COP26 is coming up and nuclear energy exists in a strange grey area for some environmentalists. It is almost certain that taxpayers and future energy customers will bear the risk of any cost overruns. That will be politically sensitive. And, yes, Hinkley Point has been preposterously expensive. It may very well become more so.
Telegraph 17th Sept 2021 read more »
Sarah Ingham: author of The Military Covenant: its impact on civil-military relations in Britain. “Yes Please” to Nuclear Power.
Conservative Home 17th Sept 2021 read more »