The CEO of the Nuclear Industry Association has claimed the UK is already well over a decade behind in plans to create sustainable and renewable energy resources. CEO Tom Greatrex explained the Government must support nuclear energy programmes to prevent a further spike in energy costs. The former shadow minister for energy explained the Government needs to ensure “we have lots of low carbon capacity, of which nuclear is one element”. The nuclear expert estimated current progress in the UK is between ten and fifteen years behind a suitable target.
Speaking to GB news, Mr Greatrex explained nuclear energy is vital to ensure the UK has “energy security” and the “volatility of prices” can be reduced.
The delay in energy development means sustainable nuclear power provision across the nation is not yet possible.
The projects that the Government is now starting to invest in “won’t deliver immediately in terms of power capacity,” according to Greatrex.
He added: “Getting started on those projects now means that next time we’re in this situation we’ll be in a much better position.”
Mr Greatrex remained hopeful that nuclear power in the form of both small modular reactors and larger nuclear sites would provide a sustainable energy source that would prevent future rises in energy costs.
He explained, “if we’d done this ten or fifteen years ago, we wouldn’t be needing to have this conversation today.”
In April, the UK suffered the impact of a £693 rise in the energy price cap which saw annual household bills climb to £1,971.
The Nuclear Industry Association CEO expressed he was “very enthusiastic” about the future benefits of nuclear energy investment.
Read more: UK lays out new green roadmap to ‘get energy independence back’
Moving forward, the CEO suggested the next nuclear project would likely be the development of the Sizewell C nuclear power station, which aims to provide 70,000 jobs within the UK.
The proposal outlines the construction of a large power station in Suffolk which, when complete, could power the equivalent of six million homes.
Greatrex explained the design for Sizewell C is currently in the process of being approved but “equipment is qualified and the workforce is in place” for the project.
With the desperate need for low-carbon, renewable energy in the UK, Greatex hoped the approval process would move “relatively quickly” to allow construction to begin.
Wales on track for 1000s of ‘very well paid jobs” in new energy plan [REPORT]
Self sufficient Britain! Seven new nuclear plants by 2050 [INSIGHT]
Should PM rip up French energy plans? [POLL]
In order to ensure the harnessing of nuclear energy does not become further delayed, Mr Greatrex called upon the Government to unblock the barriers to energy progression and make “rapid progress” in the sector.
Looking to the future, he estimated new nuclear power stations could be “delivering power within ten years” to UK homes and businesses.
He said nuclear power programmes need to be tackled with “real action, focus and urgency,” by the Government and energy suppliers.
In order to avoid another incline in energy costs, Greatrex remained adamant that the Government must move “more quickly than [they] have done in the past,” to approve new energy sources.