A leading energy consultant has said that nuclear could account for 25-30% of the UK’s energy mix.
But John Hall added that because the UK had “delayed making a decision on nuclear for such a long time, it will take 10 years to build a new station”.
Mr Hall, who runs energy consultancy John Hall Associates and has been an energy specialist for 40 years, told the BBC’s You and Yours programme: “We are not going to see anything new now until 2020 at the earliest.”
He said the key questions facing nuclear are “how far it is allowed to go and where the investment is going to come from”.
He said if EDF went ahead with plans to build new power stations, it would be the signal the UK needs to other investors that the country is open for nuclear business.
On the same programme, Energy Minister Charles Hendry admitted the government was “playing catch-up” on nuclear, but stressed that he believed the UK was “one of the most exciting places in the world for nuclear investment”.
Mr Hall went on to stress that the drive for a low carbon economy would come with a hefty price tag. “The consumer is not going to see lower prices, unless we say that we are not bothered about the environment,” he said. “By 2020 we could see prices going up by maybe 40-50% from where they are today.”