£10bn opportunity for UK nuclear

Leading academics have published a report which claim the UK has an extraordinary “window of opportunity” to make use of our nuclear resources and create a profitable, yet low carbon […]

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By Tom Gibson

Leading academics have published a report which claim the UK has an extraordinary “window of opportunity” to make use of our nuclear resources and create a profitable, yet low carbon future for the UK.

In ‘A low carbon nuclear future: Economic assessment of nuclear materials and spent nuclear fuel management in the UK‘ research explores the UK nuclear future through the safe management of current, future and spent fuel.

The report evaluates scenarios to reduce cost to the taxpayer and create billions of pounds through new jobs and skills.

Professor Sir David King, Director of The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University, said the public had to look further than Fukushima: “Despite the terrible events in Japan, the economic, safety and carbon case for a new build programme in the UK has never been stronger.”

The Smith School engages with public and private enterprise with the solutions to address environmental challenges facing our planet.

The professor, the former UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, added: “Currently the UK has a window of opportunity to deal with its nuclear material and spent fuel management and to maximise the value of its existing assets. The renaissance in new nuclear build creates an advantageous way of using these legacy materials as fuel for new nuclear power plants.”

Dr Neil Bentley, the Deputy Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, said: “Nuclear has to remain a solution to fulfilling our objectives to secure a future low carbon, affordable energy mix for the UK. The UK’s nuclear legacy must be addressed in a safe, cost-effective manner and this report is an important step towards new nuclear being an even more secure low-carbon source of energy.”

The report can be viewed here: https://www.smithschool.ox.ac.uk/nuclearreport2011/nuclearreport.html