The UK government has published its draft Nuclear National Policy Statement (NPS), which names ten sites suitable for new nuclear deployment by the end of 2025. The document sets out why new nuclear power is needed, and says that the government is satisfied there will be ‘effective arrangements’ to manage and dispose of the waste generated from new plants.

Ten of the eleven sites nominated by industry in March have been assessed as potentially suitable for new nuclear deployment by the end of 2025: Bradwell, Braystones, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinkley Point, Kirksanton, Oldbury, Sellafield, Sizewell and Wylfa.

Dungeness in Kent was also nominated, but the government said today that it has not been listed in the NPS due to the environmental impacts of a new plant and concerns about coastal erosion and flood risk at that site.

Three alternative sites were also considered: Druridge Bay in Northumberland, Kingsnorth in Kent and Owston Ferry in South Yorkshire. However none of these have been listed in the draft Nuclear NPS after it was concluded that all three sites have serious impediments, none is credible for deployment by the end of 2025, nor are they necessary for the government’s plans for new nuclear.

Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Miliband said:

“The threat of climate change means we need to make a transition from a system that relies heavily on high carbon fossil fuels, to a radically different system that includes nuclear, renewable and clean coal power.

“The current planning system is a barrier to this shift. It serves neither the interests of energy security, the interests of the low carbon transition, nor the interests of people living in areas where infrastructure may be built, for the planning process to take years to come to a decision.

“That is why we are undertaking fundamental reform of the planning system which will result in a more efficient, transparent and accessible process.

The six draft NPS (fossil fuels, nuclear, renewables, transmission networks and oil and gas pipelines) are a crucial part of reforms that will remove unnecessary planning delays facing large energy proposals. They will be the basis of planning decisions made by the new Infrastructure Planning Commission from March 2010.

The Energy National Policy Statements will be subject to an extensive 15 week consultation between the 9th November and the 22nd February with the opportunity for the public to influence and comment on these draft NPS at a national and local level. Parliamentary scrutiny will follow the conclusion of this consultation.

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