Business body says UK risks undermining energy security if it fails to build at least six new nuclear plants by 2030

Energy policy must be overhauled to incentivise investment in nuclear power if the UK is to meet its climate change targets, the CBI has warned.

The business body said the country risked missing green goals and undermining energy security if it failed to build at least six new nuclear plants by 2030.

It said 10 to 12 reactors were needed to shift the country’s energy system to a low-carbon model, but private sector would not be able to invest in the necessary infrastructure without change.

In a new report out today, the body calls on the government to end the situation where it is “subsidising investments in renewable energy at the expense of other, more cost-effective low-carbon sources, including nuclear power”.

Neil Bentley, CBI’s director of business environment, said: “With most existing nuclear plants due to close within 10 years, we urgently need new reactors to come on stream.

“Nuclear power can play a key role in cutting carbon emissions and bolstering energy security. It needs to be part of a broad-based energy mix that includes wind and other renewable sources, gas and clean coal.”

In the report, entitled Forging a Nuclear Renaissance: Making new nuclear a reality the CBI sets out five key recommendations to the government, including:

  • Publish national policy statements for new nuclear build as quickly as possible
  • Set up a joint government-industry task force to explore whether an additional market mechanism is needed to incentivise the volume of low-carbon generation that must be built
  • Deliver a long-term nuclear waste solution for the UK
  • Provide support for companies involved in the nuclear supply chain.