Press Releases

The NIA Welcomes Report Showing Importance of Nuclear to Net Zero

18 June 2020

The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) welcomes today’s Nuclear for Net Zero report from the Energy Systems Catapult which sets out the key role nuclear can play in helping the UK meet its climate change goals.

This detailed technical and economic assessment, which shows an optimised approach to delivering a Net Zero energy system, includes a significant proportion of new nuclear capacity to make the UK’s 2050 target achievable.

The report recommends, providing costs come down, at least a further 10GW of new established reactor designs are built. This is over three times more capacity than will come online from the Hinkley Point C power station already in construction.

The report says its modelling also strengthens the case that a small modular light water reactor programme should proceed, similarly focused on the potential for cost-reduction.

It goes on to describe how nuclear could also play a big part in driving the growth of the hydrogen economy and providing district heating, placing the sector at the heart of deep decarbonisation across the UK, where transport, buildings and industry will need to reduce emissions arising from burning fossil fuels, predominantly gas.

Commenting on the report, the NIA’s Chief Executive, Tom Greatrex, says:

“Reaching net zero by 2050 is a massive national endeavour – and this detailed, expert report demonstrates that all but removing polluting gas will need low carbon sources of power to massively expand. Nuclear is a significant and integral part of that mix for the future.

“Costs can be reduced through repeat build and new construction techniques – but also, and most significantly, with a different approach to financing. It is imperative the government get on and conclude their review of this, so the ‘no regrets’ option highlighted by the Energy Systems Catapult can make progress.

“With thousands of jobs in construction, operation and the supply chain, getting the new fleet of nuclear power stations this report shows are needed underway can also boost the economy at a critical time, while also helping get closer to the net zero ambition. There is no time to lose.”

More here.