New nuclear is indispensable, Hutton tells top energy meeting
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Released 18 Sep 2008
John Hutton will today pledge his maximum support for new nuclear power
stations in the UK, at the first meeting of the Government's new Nuclear
Development Forum. Mr Hutton will say that energy from new nuclear generators is
absolutely indispensable for keeping the UK's lights on, reducing our dependency
on foreign oil and gas, and cutting carbon emissions.
The Forum brings together top figures from across the nuclear industry to
support and advise the new Office for Nuclear Development in creating the right
conditions for new nuclear power stations to be built in the UK as soon as
During the meeting, Mr Hutton will also focus on the huge opportunity for
British manufacturers to become part of the UK's new nuclear ambitions. He will
highlight the benefits of as much as possible of the predicted £20 billion
private sector investment and 100,000 jobs that could be created from new
nuclear power stations to be secured for the UK.
But with strong competition from such countries as China - which has plans
for 24 nuclear plants and outline proposals for another 76 - a strong British
supply chain will be ideally positioned to benefit and provide the valuable
equipment and skills necessary.
Mr Hutton will say:
"I'm determined to press all the buttons to get nuclear built in this country
at the earliest opportunity - not only because it's a no-brainer for our energy
security, but also because it's good for jobs and our economy.
"Insecure international sources of energy underline the case for a diverse
mix. We are determined to get new nuclear up and running as soon as possible -
securing clean low carbon energy and helping to keep the UK's lights on.
"But we're facing stiff competition for this investment and for the equipment
we'll need to build these power stations which is why I'm determined to ensure
Britain remains a competitive environment for nuclear investment.
"I know many manufacturers across the country already have the skills and
expertise needed to build power stations - but more needs to be done to create
and support a globally competitive UK supply chain, focussing on high value
added activities to take advantage of the UK and global nuclear renaissance.
"I'm calling for a spotlight to be put on the opportunities available to our
companies from the UK's and the world's nuclear new build programmes, and make
sure they take advantage of it. The new Office for Nuclear Development, launched
today, will play its part in this, working with the supply chain, vendors and
operators to develop capability where gaps are identified."
The new Office for Nuclear Development (OND), part of the Department for
Business, is designed to facilitate new nuclear investment in the UK - making
the UK the best market in the world for companies to invest in nuclear, as well
as advise the Secretary of State on the exercise of his regulatory and policy
functions in relation to the nuclear industry.
The Government will also today publish its response to the consultation on
the Funded Decommissioning Programme guidance. The new guidance, to be finalised
following the Royal Assent of the Energy Bill, reiterates the Government's
policy that nuclear operators - not taxpayers - will have to meet the full cost
of decommissioning and their full share of waste management and disposal costs.
It helps provide a clear UK framework for the new investment and underlines
Government's confidence in the private sector to deliver without any taxpayer
1. The new Office for Nuclear Development will retain and build on the
current work of the Nuclear Unit in the Department for Business, joining-up the
approximately 40 staff currently based there with staff from other
nuclear-focused teams from across Government. The Office for Nuclear Development
will be part of the Department for Business.
2. The OND will exercise its functions in a manner which takes account of the
relevant regulatory regimes and Government's broader energy goals. The OND,
whose staff will be drawn from both the civil service and from industry, will
bring together the relevant Government teams and resources to achieve its
objectives. It will be led by a non-executive chair. This appointment has yet to
be made, but the Chair will be a person with appropriate experience of the
3. More information about the work of the OND can be found at:
4. The Government response to the consultation on Funded Decommissioning
Programme guidance will be available at:
5. Figures on China's nuclear build programme are contained in the Economic
Research Council Digest of Energy Statistics, 2008:
6. The Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform helps UK
business succeed in an increasingly competitive world. It promotes business
growth and a strong enterprise economy, leads the better regulation agenda and
champions free and fair markets. It is the shareholder in a number of
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-09-20 07:42:12 in Business Articles