Nuclear roadmap calls for 15GW by 2035

Westminster’s Nuclear All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has published a roadmap that calls for 15GW of new nuclear generation by 2035 and 30GW by 2050.

Sizewell C
Sizewell C (lighter colouring on the right) next to Sizewell B (darker, on the left) Credit: EDF

In light of the current energy crisis and comments from the prime minister earlier this week about ‘big new bets on nuclear power’, the Nuclear APPG set out a five-point plan that urges commitment to both large-scale plants as well as small modular reactors (SMRs). Alongside the 15GW and 30GW ambitions, the plan also includes reclassifying nuclear as green energy to make it eligible under the Green Financing Framework, accelerating decisions and funding on Sizewell C and SMRs, freeing up unused nuclear sites for prospective developers, and streamlining the development and planning processes.

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“A lot of focus is quite rightly on how we insulate ourselves from volatile imported energy, and the government is wise to look to nuclear energy to provide the sovereign, reliable power we require to get to net zero,” said Ian Liddell-Grainger MP, chair of the Nuclear APPG.

“The five steps the Nuclear APPG is setting out today would enable the UK to deliver such nationally critical infrastructure as urgently as it is needed.”

The old Wylfa Power Station, which last produced energy in 2015 (Credit: Creative Commons)

As part of the roadmap, the APPG has also called for pre-development funding for Wylfa B/Wylfa Newydd, a proposed 2.7GW new-build on the site of the decommissioned Magnox plant in Anglesey, Wales. Previously led by Horizon Nuclear Power, a subsidiary of Hitachi, the project’s most recent suitor is a Bechtel/Westinghouse joint venture, which the APPG appears to be supporting.

“The Wylfa site on Anglesey is the best place in the UK to house a new large nuclear plant,” said Virginia Crosbie, Ynys Môn MP.

“I could not agree more that we need to be ambitious, and I fully support these five steps. A statement of intent on that ambition would be the greenlight for Wylfa along with other projects. Doing so will make a huge difference to our country’s future and should be done without delay.”

The five-point plan as set out by the Nuclear APPG is:

  • BE AMBITIOUS: Define a target in the Government’s Nuclear Roadmap for Deployment of 15GW by 2035, and at least 30GW by 2050. This would show the UK is serious and committed to fleet deployments of large, small and advanced reactors
  • GET THE FINANCING RIGHT: By Easter, classify nuclear as green in the UK sustainable investment taxonomy and make nuclear eligible under the Green Financing Framework
  • ACCELERATE PROJECT TIMELINES: Get Sizewell C to Final Investment Decision within 12 months, allocate pre-development funding to the Bechtel/Westinghouse joint venture for Wylfa today, order 10 SMRs in this Parliament, and advance other large and small scale projects
  • GIVE DEVELOPERS ACCESS TO LAND: Give the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority a mandate to lease unused nuclear sites to prospective developers, and make it clear that private owners of potential sites must make land available for nuclear development
  • SUPPORT PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: Streamline the Development Consent Order process and enable developers to carry out multiple planning, consenting and licencing requirements concurrently, saving time without compromising on standards. Give all relevant regulatory bodies a net zero obligation. Assign additional money to the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund and publish details on bidding criteria and process