Nuclear plan to be reviewed again, industry shocked
LONDON (Reuters) - The coalition government will reconsider the nation's nuclear power plans, it said Thursday, surprising the nuclear industry, but added targets for first power generation by 2018 remain intact.
The nuclear plan issued by the previous Labour government was widely consulted on by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, but the new coalition government says it wants to look at it again in the autumn to see if it is sustainable.
"We have decided to take a further look at the Appraisal of Sustainability of our draft Energy Policy Statements to make sure that they are fit for purpose," Energy Minister Charles Hendry said in a statement Thursday.
"Plans for the first new nuclear power station to begin generating electricity by 2018 remain on course," he added.
At a meeting of ministers and the nuclear industry on Thursday, senior figures expressed surprise at the decision to consult again but said they were satisfied by the coalition's commitment to the policy.
"People were surprised but they were reassured to hear what the causes were because this is a one-off. It's not a systemic clip in the program because things haven't been estimated correctly," Tom Foulkes, director general of the Institute of Civil Engineers, who attended the meeting, told Reuters.
"I wouldn't say they were shocked, there was no sort of jaw-dropping," he added.
At the meeting, the government also said it expected the nuclear policy to be ratified in April 2011, Foulkes said.
Many of Britain's ageing nuclear power plants are scheduled to shut over the next few years, with the Conservatives-Liberal Democrats coalition, which came to power in May, pushing private firms to build new ones as part of a low carbon power generation mix.
French utility EDF says it intends to build four reactors in Britain, while German utilities E.ON and RWE also plan to build new nuclear plants in the UK.
(Editing by James Jukwey)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this