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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Boris Johnson beholden to the nuclear industry. That’s going to cost UK bigtime – Chancellor Sunak not happy.

Boris Johnson’s flagship energy strategy has been held up over a row
with Rishi Sunak about funding a new generation of up to eight nuclear
power stations costing the public more than £13bn.

The strategy, which has
been delayed for a month, was due to be published this week but has now
been pencilled for 5 April after disagreement about the multibillion-pound
cost of new nuclear plants and amid ongoing tensions between the prime
minister and his chancellor, as well as the wider cabinet.

Johnson has told the nuclear industry that he wants 25% of electricity generation to come
from nuclear power by 2050, up from 16% now. Whitehall sources told the
Guardian this shift could require the building of about eight new nuclear
power stations. Draft targets suggest ministers are looking at 30GW of
nuclear power capacity, meaning a huge building programme would be needed,
as capacity is due to fall to 3.6GW as plants are decommissioned.

Of the eight UK plants currently in operation, all but one are due to be switched
off by 2030. Each new plant would require the government to take a minority
stake in the project to reduce the risk to developers, and substantial cash
outlay to encourage investment.

Despite Johnson’s keenness for new
nuclear power, Sunak is concerned about the cost to the taxpayer, or extra
costs added to soaring energy bills. The Treasury has already promised
£1.7bn of direct cash for a single large-scale nuclear project – the
£20bn Sizewell C – as well as £120m for a new Future Nuclear Enabling
Fund, which aims to address barriers to entering the sector.

Building eight plants could cost more than £13bn in initial investment costs from the
government if the same amount of investment were to be put in, according to
a Whitehall source. However, the government is also pushing for the nuclear
industry to reduce its build costs.

 Guardian 28th March 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/mar/28/boris-johnsons-energy-strategy-funding-row-with-rishi-sunak

March 31, 2022 - Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK

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