“Nuclear is the proper antidote to the vitality challenges dealing with Britain” • Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

Following French moves to downgrade renewables, Britain now also seems to be jumping on board the nuclear bandwagon.

UK government sets out plans for ‘biggest nuclear power expansion in 70 years’

Ministers hope to build fleet of reactors to meet quarter of electricity demand by 2050 but critics highlight long delays and rising costs

Jillian Ambrose Thu 11 Jan 2024 11.01 AEDT

The government has set out plans for what it claims will be Britain’s biggest nuclear power expansion in 70 years, despite concerns about faltering nuclear output and project delays.

The roadmap echoes plans put forward by the then prime minister, Boris Johnson, in 2022 to “build a new [reactor] every year” to wean Britain off fossil fuel.

Since then the developer of Hinkley Point C, the French utility EDF, has said the cost of Britain’s first new nuclear plant in a generation had spiralled to £33bn, a 30% increase from 2015 when it forecast the cost at between £25bn to 26bn. There are also concerns that Hinkley’s start date may be delayed from the summer of 2027 to the early 2030s.

Sunak said the government’s latest support for the nuclear industry was “the next step in our commitment to nuclear power, which puts us on course to achieve net zero by 2050 in a measured and sustainable way”.

“Nuclear is the perfect antidote to the energy challenges facing Britain – it’s green, cheaper in the long term and will ensure the UK’s energy security for the long term,” he said. “This will ensure our future energy security and create the jobs and skills we need to level up the country and grow our economy.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2024/jan/11/uk-government-sets-out-plans-for-biggest-nuclear-power-expansion-in-70-years

What a difference a few years makes.

Back in 2022 British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told us renewables are the solution to climate change. “We need to move further and faster to transition to renewable energy and I will ensure the UK is at the forefront of this global movement as a clean energy superpower.”

Fast forward to today, and now “Nuclear is the perfect antidote to the energy challenges facing Britain”.

Britain may not have officially abandoned renewables, but they don’t exactly seem front and foremost as they once were.

Outside of specialised applications such as low power remote sensing systems, renewables have been a total failure pretty much everywhere they have been tried. Even sun drenched Australia is failing to make renewables work.

Perhaps the utter failure of renewables to deliver lower energy prices is finally starting to bite. Attempting to create a renewable energy powered economy at 50 degrees North of the equator was always a green pipe dream.

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