Clean energy, at least in terms of its low greenhouse emissions. That is one of the axes of the new UK climate strategy, which sees nuclear energy as one of its pillars in its energy cleanup until 2030.
This is stated by the Government of Boris Johnson in the White Paper on Energy that it has just published and that marks its roadmap for the next decade, with an estimate of creating around 250,000 jobs.
And in it, in addition to other non-polluting energies such as offshore wind and ‘green’ hydrogen, nuclear will gain weight.
“Nuclear energy provides a reliable source of low carbon electricity”, states the aforementioned White Paper on Energy. “We aspire to large-scale nuclear energy”, It indicates, through a greater investment in advanced modular reactors and much smaller than previous technologies.
The goal, in the short term, is to develop a new large nuclear project before Johnson ends his term in three years. A plan that will entail, assumes, a long process of administrative approvals and authorizations.
With this project, the United Kingdom remains among the countries that supports nuclear as an alternative for the future and heats the debate on how healthy it is for the environment.
An option from which France It is one of the great standard bearers. Just a few weeks ago, your president Emmanuel Macron defended it as a key energy pillar for the coming years.
The opposite position is that of Spain, which has already marked a plant closure schedule, which will begin in 2027, with an eye toward 2035, when renewable deployment is even more entrenched.
More than 1 billion pounds
Altogether, the new energy plan of the Johnson Government will involve an investment of 1 billion pounds destined to innovation (almost 1,120 million euros), focused on both nuclear and clean hydrogen.
The UK’s new energy roadmap considers nuclear power a reliable low-carbon source
A nuclear bet that entails a clear change of model. The Executive’s document states that, with the exception of the Sizewell B (located in the town of Leiston) and Hinkley Point C (in Somerset), which is still under construction, all current UK nuclear plants are scheduled to shut down by the end of 2030.
In total, the country currently has 16 active nuclear power plants. Hence the aspiration to close the proposed construction of a new facility in the next three years, before the end of Johnson’s term.
At present, 16% of the energy consumed in the UK comes from nuclear sources. “Hinkley Point C is due to enter service in the mid-2020s,” the white paper states. It will, predictably, produce around 7% of the electricity currently consumed by the UK. It will be enough, he says, to power six million homes.
The ‘Tory’ government foresees that the new nuclear project will allow the creation of 10,000 jobs, just for its construction.
More nuclear plants, if their cost is reduced
“We remain open to more projects if the nuclear industry shows that it is capable of reducing its costs and that the projects arrive on time and within the established budget,” reflects the White Paper.
In this sense, the aspiration is for the cost of projects to be lowered significantly, with a reduction of up to 30% in cost by 2030.
Currently, Reino Unico has 16 nuclear power plants that mark the end of their useful life in 2030
As for what budget the Government is going to allocate, it has defined what it calls ‘Advanced Nuclear Fund’, which reaches 385 million pounds (more than 430 million euros), which will go to the research and development of more advanced and smaller nuclear reactors, called SMR and AMR.
Some SMRs with which the United Kingdom aspires to spearhead the new nuclear industry and which must be competitive in the 2030s.
Still pending approval by regulators, these SMRs may allow the construction of large-scale nuclear plants and the deployment of more facilities throughout the UK, according to the White Paper. But to get to that point, the technology will have to be further developed over the next few years.