economies need baseload generation.
are only four fuel choices - oil, gas, coal, nuclear.
type of baseload plant has been built in a deregulated, competitive
deregulated electricity market gives price signals at best one or two
years ahead. Baseload plants need 5-10 years to bring on line.
plants are not being built in the UK today because:
capacity (c 40% supply margin).
prices for generation are below new entry level costs of any fuel type.
term supply contracts (15–30 years) which all fuel types need are not
leads to scenario that as supply margins tighten (Government forecast
zero about 2015), prices will rise significantly as market two years
out senses supply shortage.
present policies gas is quickest to market and will dominate generation
mix (80% + by 2020) resulting in significant rise in CO2
emissions as nuclear is phased out. This supposes that a 15 year
supply contract can be put in place.
recommend the energy review results in the following changes to policy
so that nuclear baseload stations can be built in response to the market.
of current climate change mechanisms (Climate Change Levy) recognising
that nuclear generation should benefit from the fact that it makes virtually
no contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.
planning and regulatory approval processes.
on overall policy for radioactive waste management which recognises:
Waste currently managed safely
safe storage is a viable approach to management of intermediate and
high level wastes whether reprocessed or not.
to put management of legacy waste on commercial footing.
to clarify the obligation for spent fuel management costs of new build.
must be a review of how long term contracts can be put in place. This
is important for any fuel type for baseload stations. The only mechanism
being used today is the requirement on supply companies to have 10%
of their output from renewables where they give 20 year contracts to
believes that there is a powerful case for nuclear power to be supported.
However, if current market mechanisms are maintained over the next two
decades and nuclear reactors are decommissioned as planned, no replacement
capacity will be built. The UK will the be reliant on imported gas (up
to 80% of supply) to meet the growing demand for electricity.
on imported gas for electricity would result in serious long term consequences:
i) supply will be far less secure as over 60% of proven gas reserves
lie in the Middle East and Russia, ii) prices would be volatile, and
potentially rising, reflecting the need for gas infrastructure enhancements,
as UK reserves dwindle; iii) greenhouse gas emission reduction targets
would almost certainly not be met.
electricity generation currently makes a major contribution to the Government’s
key energy policy goals. This capacity should be actively replaced so
that nuclear power will continue to represent a significant proportion
of the UK energy portfolio for the following reasons:
the nuclear industry’s safety record is good and has steadily improved
across the world because of firm regulation, improved designs and greater
operational experience. The UK’s nuclear reactors have operated safely
for the length of their existence, over four decades.
of Supply: nuclear contributes significantly to security of supply:
(i) nuclear adds to the diversity of energy sources; (ii) the uranium
feedstock is plentiful and comes from stable countries such as Australia
and Canada; (iii) nuclear provides reliable baseload generating capacity;
and (iv) fuel availability can be assured through retention of strategic
stocks either of finished fuel or of raw uranium feedstock.
Effective: nuclear generation costs for a new reactor in the UK are
expected to be in the range of 2.2p to 3.0p/kWh for an advanced passive
(AP) design, i.e. competitive with any other source. Costs, however,
would be substantially less volatile due to low exposure to fuel cost
movements. To ensure cost-effectiveness, it is vital to standardise
on a world class reactor for the future, such as BNFL’s AP design.
Emissions: the presence of a significant component of nuclear power
in the generation mix ensures that large quantities of high density
base load electricity are provided with virtually no CO2,
SO2 or nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions.
strong domestic nuclear generation programme would maintain the UK’s
global market position in the nuclear fuel cycle. By helping the UK
keep at the leading edge of the science and technology base, it would
contribute directly to regional employment, as well as contributing
indirectly through overseas earnings.
current availability of private finance for large infrastructure projects
in the UK (eg £650m for Birmingham northern relief road, £1.4bn for
National Air Traffic Service) suggests that the market would consider
the private financing of new nuclear plant positively, provided that
the project is sufficiently attractive (in terms of its returns and
risk profile) and that the key issues can be addressed. Furthermore,
recent sales of existing nuclear plant in the USA demonstrate that the
equity markets are not ‘prejudiced’ against nuclear plant.
is a national UK resource. Its nuclear scientific, technical and engineering
resources serve nuclear utilities worldwide.
only new generation USA Approved design AP600
is well positioned to benefit from the nuclear resurgence.