EDITOR’S COMMENT: it’s time for the government to seriously consider nuclear energy. It’s an opportunity to create new jobs and use cleaner sources of energy. What do you think?
This is a critical time for nuclear power in Britain, a vital clean energy source that is not only going to be central to meeting our Net Zero targets but could form a central plank of rebuilding the economy after the effects of Covid-19. The Government, however, shows little sign of appreciating the urgency or the opportunity.
Plans for the Wylfa nuclear power station in Wales were recently left in tatters after Japanese tech company Hitachi pulled out of the project, a decision that Parliament’s Welsh Affairs Committee called “a blow for Wales”. The stark reality behind this failure is that, after waiting for a funding decision from the UK Government that never arrived, Hitachi simply threw in the towel. The company was risking bankruptcy by pursuing the project and without a solid commitment from the Government it simply became too much of a gamble. “Britain is not a welcoming place for the nuclear industry,” one insider told me.
It is hard to disagree with them, The UK currently has 15 operational reactors, 14 of which are due to close by 2030. In order to replace the energy we will lose when they close, the Government needs to commit to building two new reactors, Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C. Investors in Sizewell C, however, have been waiting months for a decision to go ahead with the project, and may also withdraw if a commitment is not made soon.