Eight New Nuclear Plants Must Contribute to "Post-Oil Economy" says UK Prime Minister

Cumbria nuclear power plant photo

photo by Tim Duckett

Gordon Brown recently announced that a £100 billion government investment in renewable energy would be "the most dramatic change in energy policy since nuclear power". Such an investment will allow Britain to generate 30-35% of its electricity from renewables by 2020. Based on recent statements in Paris, we now know more clearly about his commitment to nuclear energy.

New Plants Required to Replace Existing Aging Ones
The Guardian is reporting that Brown has stated that "at least" eight new nuclear reactors are needed over the next 15 years to replace those which will come offline due to age during this time period or shortly thereafter. These new plants would generate approximately 10 GW of power in total and the first could begin generating electricity by 2017. Speaking about the motivation behind this commitment from government, an unnamed Downing Street official said, "The industry will not make the long-term investment required to build a new nuclear power station if they think government is not totally committed to nuclear energy." The last nuclear power plant built in the UK—and the only one not set to close in the next 15 years— began operating in 1995.

I wonder if industry will make the investment to replace the UK's existing nuclear plants if it thinks the public isn't committed to nuclear energy? And I also wonder if decentralized micro-power generation, combined with serious energy conservation efforts could not decrease the need to rebuild most of these nuclear plants?

via :: The Guardian
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