Doubts cast over BNFL report

Doubts have been cast over a report released today by BNFL, which claims that its Advanced Passive 1000 reactor makes nuclear power more affordable than ever before.

BNFL today published a report to government which claims that electricity generation from its reactor design, the Advanced Passive 1000 (AP1000) makes nuclear power more affordable now than ever before.

The report, submitted as part of BNFL’s submission to the UK Energy Policy Consultation, is said to reveal robust and competitive costs, which have been externally reviewed and verified by a number of independent experts.

‘The AP1000 is ready for implementation now but to get electricity produced in 10 years time from the first of a new generation of nuclear reactors needs action today,’ said Norman Askew, BNFL’s Chief Executive. ‘Nuclear power is the way to a low-carbon fuel economy and is the only credible solution to ensure a large scale secure, reliable and environmentally friendly energy supply.’

According to BNFL, generating 1,000 MW of electricity from the AP1000 requires 25 tonnes of nuclear fuel per year. To generate the equivalent amount of electricity in a coal fired power station would use around 3 million tonnes of coal.

The report claims that if the electricity provided by nuclear reactors worldwide were to be generated instead by gas-fired stations, CO2 emissions would increase by over 1 billion tonnes per year and this would double if coal stations were used. Replacing all the current UK nuclear capacity with AP1000 reactors would only add about 10% to the UK’s nuclear waste inventory over their lifetime.

‘Norman Askew must live in cloud cuckoo land. Claiming that nuclear power is cost-effective and environmentally friendly shows just how desperate the nuclear industry has become,’ said Roger Higman, nuclear campaigner at Friends of the Earth.

Higman added: ‘The industry has a future, but that lies in cleaning up the mess it’s already made and not in creating more highly toxic waste that will remain a threat for thousands of years to come. The Government must wake up to the fact that the nuclear dream is over and put its resources into clean renewable energy and measures to reduce energy demand.’