United Kingdom possesses 16 reactors that generate one sixth of the country’s power and no new nuclear plants were constructed in the recent years. The country has decided to decommission the existing nuclear fleet over the next few years as the maintenance cost is increasing drastically. UK government subsidies and support were always a part of the nuclear industry since initiation. The government provides waste disposal services for spent fuel and intermediate-level nuclear wastes. It was observed that there is an increasing construction cost of nuclear storage facilities due to many uncertainties associated with the costs of waste disposal.
The cost of clean-up from nuclear accidents is majorly covered by the government. However, the probability of any nuclear accident is very difficult to calculate because the modern reactors are often claimed to be safer than previous generation reactors. The government’s nuclear power subsidies in the United Kingdom represents an enormous opportunity cost, shaping the country’s energy system for several generations and preventing the country from investing in other renewable energy technologies. All the nuclear power plants are cost-effective, reliable, low carbon electricity system which supports the country’s needs to secure its prosperity. The leading companies in the United Kingdom’s nuclear power are NuGeneration Ltd, Horizon Nuclear Power, EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Group Limited, and China General Nuclear Power Corp.
According to the study “Nuclear Power in United Kingdom, Market Outlook to 2030, Update 2018-Capacity, Generation, Investment Trends, Regulations and Company Profiles”, United Kingdom may enter a new phase of nuclear power development in the next few years because nuclear energy production is expected to increase by one third more than the current production by the year 2035. UK has a total of 15 operational nuclear reactors at seven established plants with 14 advanced gas-cooled reactors, one pressurised water reactor and one nuclear reprocessing plant. Life-extensions in the advanced gas-cooled reactors are carried out to enhance more nuclear power production.
UK has announced that they would withdraw the development of new nuclear power plants in view of creating low carbon economy. The national survey on UK’s nuclear energy issues was found to be relatively low because majority of them preferred renewable energy over nuclear energy. Leukaemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases were discovered in population residing near nuclear plants by the United Kingdom Committe on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment. Therefore, there is a huge demand for wind power compared to the nuclear energy.
Earthquakes are relatively frequent in UK at a magnitude less than 6.5 but do not cause any destruction to the well-constructed nuclear structures. UK will expect extreme climatic conditions but less of tsunamis according to Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. The majority of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions are generated from production and consumption of any source of energy such as driving cars, manufacturing goods or simply boiling a kettle. Majority of the UK population are keen to meet the carbon targets by becoming energy efficient and by switching to low-carbon fuels. More than fifty percent of the UK population are supporting nuclear power combined with renewable technologies along with energy policy and the rest of the population is expecting power from renewable resources in the next 15 years.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications