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New nuclear power could be set for a major boost in the UK. The prime minister is reportedly meeting with senior cabinet ministers this month to discuss the role of nuclear in the UK’s future energy supply, and it is expected that new nuclear will feature in his upcoming “10-point plan” for tackling the climate crisis.
On Wednesday evening, Boris Johnson said: “There is no time to waste. That’s why I’ll be setting out my 10-point plan shortly, which will not only create thousands of British jobs but also invigorate our plans to achieve net zero by 2050.”
The most likely candidate to get the green light under Mr Johnson’s new plans is Sizewell C, a proposed nuclear power station that would be built on the Suffolk coast. The project’s contractors, EDF Energy, say the station would be an “almost identical replica” of Hinkley Point C, the last large nuclear power station to get the go-ahead in the UK.
The greatest draw of such projects is that they can deliver a “huge source of clean electricity”, Dr Jonathan Marshall, head of analysis at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, a non-profit organisation based in the UK, tells The Independent.
“We need an awful lot of electricity,” he says. “Most of our scenarios that project how we’re going to get to net-zero emissions show that electricity use is going to double or treble within the next few decades.”
The demand for electricity in the UK is expected to rocket as people increasingly turn to electric cars in the coming decades. The demand from the industrial sector is also projected to increase as the UK gears towards producing clean hydrogen, which requires large amounts of electricity, says Marshall.