EOn and EDF call for progress on UK nuclear

28 March 2007

EOn UK Chief Excutive, Paul Golby, has called for the UK government to continue with pre-licensing arrangements for new nuclear plants, despite the successful Greenpeace challenge to consultation process preceding the Energy White Paper, which is expected to be published in May. Meanwhile, EDF Energy has said that new plants should only be built in the UK with public acceptance.


Following the Greenpeace challenge, the UK government has commited itself to a further consultation on nuclear power. However, Golby said that there was no reason for the government not to continue with the pre-licensing arrangements and that EOn was willing to pay its shares of the costs.


"In the interest of the UK having the option to replace its current nuclear fleet in good time, I believe that it is therefore vital for the pre-licensing process to continue on a 'without prejudice' basis", said Golby.

Golby reiterated calls for the planning process to be streamlined, saying that not only nuclear, but renewables would benefit from such a move. He said that growth in the deployment of renewables was being put at risk, not by the potential investment in nuclear energy, but by current planning policies.


Mr Golby said: "In my view, replacing our nuclear capacity is an option that the UK must have if we are serious about diversity of supply and tackling climate change."


Meanwhile, Vicent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy - the UK arm of the French power utility - has said that new plants would only be built in the UK with public acceptance. He said that public fear of nuclear energy must be allayed not ignored. He said, "Neither the industry nor the politicians can impose it on a reluctant public." He added, "There can be no business case without public acceptance."

De Rivaz said, "Many of our nuclear and coal fired power stations will come to the end of their lives in the next 10 years and there have so far been no structural changes to avoid a power crunch." EDF has said it is keen to construct new nuclear power plants in the UK and says it is better to settle the debate over nuclear now rather than later.


Further information


EDF Energy


WNA's Nuclear Power in the United Kingdom information paper

WNN: IEA report on UK energy policy backs nuclear
WNN: Consultation ruled "seriously flawed"