Nuclear energy is the only practical solution to increased electricity generating demand as we hope to survive as a species into the next century on limited fossil fuels.
However, the amount of clean, low carbon electricity being produced is decreasing as nuclear power units come offline without replacement. As of 2022, less than 25% of the electricity in the European Union is generated by nuclear power and the UK has only 8 operating power stations, providing less than 20% of our electricity mix.
Security of Supply
Unlike all other technologies (power generation from fossil fuels or renewables) the nuclear option will enable us to be self-sufficient, providing security of supply with a ready source of low carbon energy to meet our growing electricity needs for years to come.
The nuclear option is not linked to market prices for oil and gas and is, at the very least, cost competitive with other forms of electricity production in the UK. It should be noted that in France, where nuclear power generation is the dominant technology, the price for electricity per kilowatt/hour to the consumer is just over half of what we pay in the UK.
Clean and Low Carbon
Nuclear power is clean and immediately convertible into energy for the National Grid. It has the advantage of not producing long lived greenhouse gas emissions or other chemical pollutants that are released to the air from the burning of fossil fuels.
Minimal mining required in terms of concrete, glass, steel and critical minerals.
Nuclear plants have a capacity factor of 92% which means they rarely need to be switched off. Nuclear plants can be operational up to 80 years.
Nuclear energy is incredibly safe for the amount of energy it produces, the rare accidents are quickly broadcast. The Nuclear Industry is the most closely regulated and monitored industry in the world.
The design of new build power plants is “passively” safe; they shut themselves down without the need for additional systems if any abnormality of operation occurs.
Energy density matters
The laws of physics need to be understood in that electrical energy is converted from energy of motion of three fundamentally different phenomena.
Renewable energy results from slow water or wind speeds in comparison to the binding energy of electron for combustion or the fermi energy of a particle from nuclear fission.
Technological performance is a secondary consideration.
Nuclear fuel required for life is roughly 1 kg*
Fossil fuel required for life is roughly 500 tonnes*
Renewable fuel for life is roughly 10 million tonnes*
*Based on figures calculated in Nature, energy and Society, by Professor Wade Allison, a single person uses (50,000,000,000/70,000,000) x 24 x 365 x 76 Watt-hours during a lifetime if they live to average age of 76
Storage and disposal of the very small amount of waste produced by nuclear reactors per TWh is safely managed, well known, and never hurt anyone.
Fact: the coal industry is permitted to release twice as much radioactivity to the environment than the nuclear industry.
Updated every three years, the Radioactive Waste Inventory is compiled by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in the UK.
Its publication is one facet of the continuing commitment of the UK Government and the organisations responsible for radioactive wastes to openness and transparency in matters relating to the management of these wastes.