UK government prepares to quadruple nuclear power by 2050

The UK government has set out a roadmap to quadruple nuclear power by 2050 up to 24GW, the biggest expansion in 2050.

The Civil Nuclear Roadmap includes steps for exploring a GW-scale nuclear power plant as big as Sizewell in Suffolk or Hinkley in Somerset, which are capable of powering 6 million homes each.

The government will also invest up to £300 million in UK production of the fuel required to power high-tech new nuclear reactors, known as high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), currently only commercially produced in Russia.

As the first country in Europe to launch a HALEU programme, the UK will lead the way from its North West production hub to provide the world with this form of uranium fuel, with the first plant aiming to be operational early in the next decade.

An additional £10 million will be provided to develop the skills and sites needed to produce other advanced nuclear fuels in the UK, helping to secure long term domestic nuclear fuel supply and support our allies.

The roadmap also includes a government ambition to secure 3 to 7GW worth of investment decisions every five years from 2030 to 2044 on new nuclear power projects.

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Earlier this month it was revealed that the country’s nuclear production has dipped to the lowest levels in 42 years. But prime minster Rishi Sunak confirmed that the plan “will ensure the UK’s energy security for the long-term”.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak added that nuclear is the “perfect anecdote” to the UK’s energy challenges as “it’s green” and “cheaper in the long term”.

“This is the right long-term decision and is the next step in our commitment to nuclear power, which puts us on course to achieve net zero by 2050 in a measured and sustainable way.

“This will ensure our future energy security and create the jobs and skills we need to level up the country and grow our economy.”


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