Expanding horizons

The role for new nuclear in the UK’s energy mix

By Max Wind-Cowie

On the 10th November 2017, ResPublica launched the report Expanding Horizons: The Role for New Nuclear in the UK’s Energy Mix. In this report ResPublica makes the case for investing in new nuclear in the UK and demonstrate the significant and wide-ranging benefits involved. The report says that new nuclear should not be framed as an alternative to renewables but as an integral part of the wider solution to meet the Government’s aim of having a sustainable, low carbon and secure energy mix as outlined in the Clean Growth Strategy. We argue that one technology cannot meet the Government’s carbon commitments and new nuclear will give the UK security of supply in the medium to long term which could act as a springboard to allow further innovation in renewable and battery technologies.

There are 78,000 people currently employed in the nuclear industry and this is estimated to rise to over 100,000 by 2021 as the new nuclear programme creates a wealth of new roles. The high-value jobs needed to construct and maintain the nuclear fleet have transferable skills to other sectors and through further investment in nuclear the UK can create additional high-skilled jobs which are at the heart of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. These skills will be in demand globally as other countries look to nuclear to bridge their own energy gaps. In ‘Expanding Horizons: The Role for New Nuclear in the UK’s Energy Mix’, ResPublica argues investment in new nuclear would allow the UK to forge new trading partnerships around the world, exploiting its experience of delivering projects using imported technology to market itself as a global powerhouse for servicing the international nuclear industry, and capitalise on a market that is expected to reach £1tn over the next decade.

Read the full report