I recently contributed to a pamphlet on nuclear power, published by the think tank Politeia and launched at the House of Commons last week. The other two authors are Professor Roger Cashmore, Chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, and David Mowat, MP for Warrington South and Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Cabinet Office. The full text of the pamplet is available here.
We are all broadly in favour of keeping the nuclear power option alive in the UK. In my case it’s rather a case of the lesser evil, since nuclear power is likely to be expensive compared with gas powered generation for many years to come. But it is probably a cheaper source of low carbon power than offshore wind power, which is currently the only realistic large scale alternative in the UK. We need all available options to achieve the government’s target of decarbonising the power system by 2050, as set out in the 2008 Climate Change Act. The biggest threat to that policy is growing customer discontent at higher prices, some of which has come from market forces but part is a result of government policy.