A nuclear energy-free future for the UK is not something the coalition “is thinking seriously about”, the government’s chief science adviser said on Tuesday at the launch of the country’s long-term nuclear strategy.
The government said its nuclear strategy would help seize the economic opportunities of a £1 trillion global market and provide 40,000 UK jobs.
Prof Sir John Beddington, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said new nuclear power was essential: “We really can’t see a future for the UK energy sector, if we are to meet our climate change obligations and have resilience in the power sector, without a significant component of nuclear. A non-nuclear scenario is not one the government is thinking seriously about.”
Beddington led a review of the nuclear research and development programme needed if the government’s high-nuclear scenario for future energy is to be feasible. Prof David Mackay, chief scientific adviser at the department of energy and climate change, said this scenario – one of four set out in the 2011 carbon plan – envisaged 75GW of nuclear capacity in 2050 providing 86 per cent of the UK’s electricity, a situation he compared to France today.
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