The Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) welcomes the chance to respond to the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee’s ‘Keeping the power on: our future energy technology mix’ inquiry.

The NIA is the trade association and representative body for the civil nuclear industry in the UK. We represent around 270 companies operating across all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle.

Due to the diversity of our membership, our views in this submission will cover high-level, industry-wide matters. Our members may choose to make their own detailed submissions.

Executive Summary

Nuclear is essential to the UK’s future energy technology mix because it is the only single technology that can provide clean, firm, and sovereign electricity. Since electric vehicles, heat pumps, electric arc furnaces and other low-carbon innovations will need more power, the minimum level of grid demand, or “baseload”, will continue to rise. Nuclear is the best way to meet this demand. Currently, falling baseload generation in our electricity system is driving up wholesale prices to extraordinary levels, which has increased consumer bills.

Nuclear is also undeniably a green technology.  Analysis conducted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe confirms that nuclear has the lowest lifecycle CO2 emissions, the lowest land footprint, and the lowest impact on ecosystem of any electricity source.

Looking to the future, nuclear is our only source of clean heat proven at scale. We will need clean heat from advanced, high-temperature reactors to provide solutions for industries that currently rely on burning fossil fuels to reach the temperatures they need.

Given these powerful attributes, and the UK’s drive to achieve energy security and net zero together, nuclear is an essential part of a robust clean-energy mix. The Government’s ambition to deploy at least 24 GW of nuclear is the right one, although much more nuclear than that is likely to be needed.

To achieve this goal, the Government with Great British Nuclear will have to work closely with the nuclear industry to plan a programme of new nuclear projects. Since the nuclear sector is highly regulated and capital intensive, it is most successful when there is strong sponsorship and direction from Government with appropriate support and risk-sharing for specific projects.

Please click here to view our full response.