UK Energy minister Matt Hancock re-affirms support for new nuclear at Parliamentary launch of New Nuclear Watch Europe
London, 25 February 2015
At a Parliamentary reception celebrating the launch of New Nuclear Watch Europe, the UK’s Energy Minister Rt. Hon. Matthew Hancock, MP re-affirmed his support for new nuclear:
“We are passionately supporting the new nuclear program. It is a vital part of security of energy supply and reducing carbon emissions at the lowest reasonable cost. It is right in the sweet spot of energy policy. I defy anybody to say they want to tackle long-term energy challenges and tackle carbon emissions without supporting nuclear.”
The Minister also reflected one of NNWE’s key aims of supporting the community in which they operate when he said:
“My experience is that the community benefits that come from jobs and new build on your doorstep mean that new nuclear is pretty attractive.”
The reception was held to bring together industry experts, UK Parliamentarians and European diplomats to discuss the importance of new nuclear power in the UK and Europe. The reception also enabled NNWE to highlight ComRes polling that showed a majority of British adults (58%), for the first time in decades, now support the use of nuclear power to provide energy in the UK, with only 22% opposed.
The Chairman of NNWE, Tim Yeo, MP, highlighted what NNWE is doing to educate governments, consumers and other stakeholders in ensuring that new nuclear follows two key principles:
“Nuclear power is an essential part of the solution to the challenge faced by Britain today of providing secure, affordable, safe and greener energy. As NNWE’s poll shows, we are fortunate that people in Britain are very positive about nuclear power, indeed more so than in many other countries.
NNWE believes that nuclear technology and manufacturing must, wherever possible, be tried and tested in commercial use and that companies or consortia delivering nuclear projects in Europe should be good neighbours and benefit the local communities in which they operate. Both of our principles were supported in our recent ComRes polling. NNWE also attaches great importance to supporting nuclear technology which offers consumers good value for money.
We really welcome the support of the UK’s energy minister and hope that that support is replicated across the rest of Europe.”
Notes to Editors
New Nuclear Watch Europe (NNWE) is a newly-formed interest group which has been established to help ensure nuclear power is recognised as an important and desirable way for European governments to provide affordable, secure, low carbon energy and help to meet the long-term energy needs of their citizens.
NNWE wants to ensure that contracts for new nuclear power stations are awarded in a way which delivers the greatest benefit in the fairest manner, to local communities, as well as to consumers and national governments.
NNWE believes that new nuclear power stations in Europe should avoid excessive reliance on untested technology. It further believes as large as possible a proportion of the manufacturing and supply chain work involved in the construction of any new nuclear power stations should be located within the EU in order to maximize the opportunities for the employment, training and skills development of EU citizens.
NNWE of course recognizes that the nuclear industry operates in an increasingly competitive, global marketplace and that it is not always possible to rely solely on home-grown talent to deliver big infrastructure projects. NNWE does, however, believe that everything possible should be done to ensure that partners from across the supply chain are drawn from within the EU and where possible, from the country where the power station is sited.
NNWE is therefore, promoting two basic principles across Europe to ensure new nuclear power stations are:
1. Safe. Nuclear technology and manufacturing must, wherever possible, be tried and tested in commercial use. Any new power stations must also be designed to withstand extreme events of nature, accidents or terrorist attacks. They must also ensure the safe and proper disposal of spent fuels in appropriate locations. Where non-EU nuclear technology is used it should be able to demonstrate a record of safe commercial use and should not lock utilities into a single nuclear fuel supplier.
2. Supportive. We believe that companies or consortia delivering nuclear projects in Europe should be good neighbours and benefit the local communities in which they operate. This means employing and investing in local people and working with local partners across the entire supply chain, not just in low-level manufacture, but particularly in R&D, engineering, technology and high-end manufacturing to benefit the domestic economy.
Membership is open to all companies and organisations active in the nuclear industry including those involved in the supply chain. For more details, visit www.newnuclearwatch.eu
Tim Yeo is available for interview. Please contact Meade Hall & Associates +44(0)20 7976 5555
A more detailed report on the polling results, accompanies this release at www.newnuclearwatch.eu