UK report opens nuclear option

8 June 2005

A new report from the UK Council for Science and Technology titled An Electricity Supply Strategy for the UK opens the door for a nuclear option.

The report argues that the changing resource base and the challenge of climate change require a fundamental adaptation and renewal of both network and infrastructure and that a new strategic approach is needed.

The report highlights the need for large-scale non-carbon electricity generators in order to meet the government's carbon reduction targets and states that wind power alone will not achieve this goal. Suitable technologies, the report says, include nuclear and tidal generation and these options should be further assessed and progressed to the point they could be executable as soon as possible.

The Council expresses its concerns that the relative economic costs of low-carbon electricity generation technologies do not sufficiently influence strategy on investment and recommends that the government consider incentives that will increase the level of research and development investment and training by the industry.

The Council, which advises the government on science, argues that there is a strong case for the option for nuclear power to be left open and its report comes amid heightened speculation that the government is poised to propose new nuclear generation in the UK.

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