UK's nuclear plans 'lack credibility' without greater R&D spend

22 November 2011

The UK's upper house of Parliament, the House of Lords, has issued a critical report on the state of nuclear power research and development. The report says that unless the government is willing to invest £20-50 million in research 'the Government’s intention that nuclear should play a part in meeting the UK’s future energy needs simply lacks credibility.'

It also said: "The absence of leadership and strategic thinking in Government in this area has resulted in a lack of co-ordination of nuclear R&D activities and a perception amongst international partners that the UK is no longer a serious player in the field. There is also a failure to recognise that although, at present, the UK has a number of strengths in nuclear R&D and expertise, those strengths are built on past investments and will soon be depleted as many experts near the end of their careers."

The document recommends developing a long-term nuclear energy strategy, a nuclear research and development roadmap, and the establishment of an independent nuclear R&D board, with representatives from government, industry and academia.

An excerpt of the summary is reproduced below; the entire report can be downloaded by the link to the right.

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