Partnership with wind gives Southern Scotland cleanest power in the UK

Nuclear power provided approximately 70% of the electricity for COP26 in Glasgow yesterday, according to data from National Grid’s Carbon Intensity App. Nuclear output from Torness and Hunterston B power stations, supported by wind power, gave the southern Scotland region, which includes Glasgow, the lowest carbon electricity in the whole UK. Other parts of the country, which do not have as strong a combination of nuclear and renewable capacity as southern Scotland, had to burn coal and gas to meet the majority of their demand.

Torness and Hunterston B together produced enough clean power yesterday for all the homes in Scotland, which relies on nuclear more than any other nation in the UK. The two stations occupy just one-quarter of a square mile, but over their lifetimes, have generated enough electricity to power every home in Scotland for nearly 15 years.

In total, their output has saved the world 400 million tonnes of carbon emissions, more than any other green energy assets in Scottish history.

Hunterston B will close in two months, after 45 years of service.

Reacting to the figures, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said:

“This nuclear-powered COP is living proof of why we need nuclear to hit net zero: it provides clean, reliable electricity to keep the lights on at this critical conference. As the UK Government and governments around the world have recognised, nuclear is an essential green energy source to save our planet.”


Notes to editors

  • The UK has seven generating nuclear power stations, providing around 16% of the country’s electricity.
    Nuclear has saved the UK 2.3 billion tonnes of carbon emissions, far more than any other source. The saving is equivalent to all UK emissions from 2015 through 2020.
  • Four stations will retire by March 2024, including Hunterston B by 7 January 2022. Torness is scheduled to retire in 2030.
  • Nuclear provides 10% of global electricity, enough for hundreds of millions of people, and has saved more than 70 billion tonnes of carbon emissions in total.
  • Nuclear, alongside wind, has the lowest lifecycle carbon intensity of any electricity source.

About the Nuclear Industry Association

As the trade association for the civil nuclear industry in the UK, the Nuclear Industry Association represents more than 250 companies across the UK’s nuclear supply chain.


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