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Large and small nuclear reactors should not be included in UK’s ‘clean, green’ 10 point plan

NFLA 18th Nov 2020, The UK & Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) has read with
interest, but concluded with real disappointment, the UK Prime Minister’s
10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

We see it as a missed opportunity when radical, appropriately funded action to tackle the climate
emergency is sorely needed. The 10-point plan is supposed to reset UK
Government policy as it prepares for the global climate change conference
taking place in Glasgow next year.

It is expected an Energy White Paper and
National Infrastructure Strategy will follow later this month.

Some of the 10 points the Government is taking forward include some welcome areas of
support – for example a major increase of offshore wind, supporting the
development of electric vehicles in conjunction with support for public
transport, cycling and walking strategies, laudable aims on energy
efficiency (despite completely inadequate resource for it), protecting and
restoring the natural environment and looking at ways to increase green
finance across the country.

However, the amount of new money committed to
such work is totally inadequate to claim this to be part of a new green
industrial revolution. NFLA is particularly disappointed with the
Government’s commitment to new nuclear, which, given the carbon footprint
in the construction period of building such reactors as Sizewell C, will
have next to no positive low carbon impact in the time required to be
getting to zero carbon.

Is nuclear power truly ‘green’ and ‘clean’ when it still creates large amounts of radioactive waste for which there is
still is no long-term management solution for?

The amount of public money required to deliver both small modular reactors, a nuclear fusion
experimental reactor and new large nuclear reactors at sites like Sizewell
and Bradwell is massive. Hinkley Point C alone is coming in at around
£22.5 billion.

Small modular reactors could require similar figures given
there is no agreed or approved design for them, or an established supply
chain that can deliver them in a cost-effective way. An experimental
nuclear fusion reactor requires billions more. In all three cases the
delivery of such projects is years away and completely diverts attention
for more effective alternatives.

https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/nfla-comment-uk-governments-10-point-plan-green-industrial-revolution-missed-opportunity/

November 21, 2020 - Posted by | climate change, politics, UK

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