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Minister admits plans to build new nuclear power plants may increase energy bills

13 May 2022 3 minute read
The decommissioned Wylfa nuclear power station on Anglesey. Photo by rodtuk is marked with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

The UK Business Secretary has said the Government’s nuclear power push may initially increase energy bills.

Kwasi Kwarteng said the plan to build new power plants as part of a new energy strategy may have a “small effect” on bills.

But he told the BBC “nuclear is back on the table” because the Government considers it a sustainable energy source, adding that it would provide cheaper power eventually.

The energy strategy was published in April as Western countries wrestled with high energy prices, reliance on Russian oil and gas and wider calls to end the fossil-fuel era to tackle climate change.

A fleet of new nuclear power plants is at the heart of the strategy, with the Prime Minister suggesting a new reactor will be built every year, in a social media video to promote the plan.

As part of an aim to make 95% of electricity low carbon by 2030, the strategy has a goal to produce up to 50GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, which officials said would be more than enough to power every home in the UK.

The strategy also includes an aim to double the goal of 10GW of low-carbon hydrogen production by 2030, with at least half from “green” hydrogen, produced from renewable electricity rather than natural gas.

Bold plans

A multimillion-pound package was later announced to help support the “bold plans” of the Government’s strategy.

Mr Kwarteng said the £375 million investment will “unlock the enormous potential” of hydrogen and nuclear power.

Boris Johnson has sought to defend the new energy strategy in the face of criticism it does nothing to help people with soaring bills now.

He has said the strategy – which sets out aims to boost new nuclear power, offshore wind and hydrogen – is a long-term plan focusing on energy supply, “undoing the mistakes of the past and taking the big decisions now”.

He said the Government was “already doing a huge amount to help people with the immediate cost of living and of course we are going to do more”.

Anglesey

Last month Anglesey was confirmed as the favoured location for a new nuclear power plant among UK Government ministers.

Two American companies, Westinghouse and Bechtel, were revealed to be involved in developing the scheme, which could see two reactors constructed on the site of the decommissioned Wylfa Newydd site, but despite talks involving Welsh Secretary Simon Hart taking place during a recent trip to America, no agreement has yet been confirmed.

The new power plant would be backed by the UK Government’s Future Nuclear Enabling Fund and have two nuclear reactors that could increase the UK’s energy capacity by 2.3 gigawatts.

Another Welsh site, Trawsfynydd, has also been identified as a potential location for one of the small modular reactors being developed by Rolls Royce but construction there is not expected to get under way for several years.


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Cynan
Cynan
4 months ago

Hinckley is already going to cost us a bomb because of charges agreed with George Osborne and EDF

Richard 1
Richard 1
4 months ago

Because nuclear is so risky, the westminster clique has a long-standing plan to impose the upfront costs onto the consumer using a device they call Regulated Assets Base. The huge long term costs of decommissioning and rad waste storage likewise will be loaded onto the public. These insane policies are driven by their desire for nuclear weapons.

Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago

Waw,
Mae pobl Ynys Môn a Gwynedd wedi bod yn aros yn hir iawn i gael eu had-daliadau wedi’u hôl-ddyddio o Wylfa a Thrawsfynydd, efallai bod yr ad-daliadau wedi mynd ar goll yn y postyn fel adroddiad Sue Gray. Ar nodyn difrifol, os yw tbey yn eu hadeiladu’n ddiogel ar aber Tafwys. Yr unig reswm y mae pŵer niwclear wedi’i leoli mor bell i ffwrdd o seddi sefydlu yn Lloegr yw lleihau’r risg o ddileu San Steffan mewn Meltdown.

ynni niwcliar ? Dim diolch

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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

Wait there? Didn’t Boris Johnson & Conservative idiocracy recently state that ones living near these Nuclear facilities would pay cheaper electricity bills. Yes they did. #NeverTrustATory 🇬🇧 # Liars 🇬🇧 #AntiWales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 #AntiWelsh🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 AntiDevolution 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Last edited 4 months ago by Y Cymro
Dr Jonathan F Dean
Dr Jonathan F Dean
4 months ago

The new strategy also says that no decisions will be made until next year. All the latest publicity is just a bit of a smoke screen

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago

The last two attempts at Wylfa failed. With the global market the state it is currently in, I don’t see this one succeeding either. Perhaps there is a call for small modular reactors but I don’t see Wylfa being re-commissioned anytime soon.

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