The Government of UK unveiled plans for the most substantial expansion of nuclear power in 70 years. The objective is to lower electricity costs, bolster employment opportunities on a large scale, and enhance the energy security of the UK. This includes considering the construction of a significant new power station and making investments in the production of advanced nuclear fuel.

Over the two years, the government has intensified efforts to secure the country’s energy supply. This initiative aims to shield the nation from price fluctuations, counteract potential threats from foreign adversaries, and reinforce the UK’s energy self-sufficiency.

The Civil Nuclear Roadmap serves as a blueprint, providing the industry with clarity regarding the future trajectory of the UK’s ambitious nuclear programme. This comes in addition to the government’s steadfast commitment to projects like Sizewell C and its pioneering efforts in fostering competition for the advancement of small modular reactor (SMR) technology on a global scale.

The roadmap outlines the strategy for the UK to significantly amplify its generation of domestically sourced, clean, reliable, and abundant energy by up to fourfold, reaching 24 gigawatts (GW) by 2050. This expansion is poised to fulfil a quarter of the UK’s electricity demands.

The proposed plans include advancing towards the establishment of a gigawatt-scale power plant, comparable in size to facilities like Sizewell in Suffolk or Hinkley in Somerset. Such plants have the capacity to provide energy for approximately 6 million homes each.

To support the ambitious nuclear energy goals, the government is allocating up to £300m for the production of High-Assay Low-Enriched Uranium (HALEU), a crucial fuel for cutting-edge nuclear reactors.

In addition to this, an extra £10m will be allocated to cultivate the skills and establish the necessary sites for producing various advanced nuclear fuels within the UK. This initiative aims to ensure a sustainable, long-term domestic nuclear fuel supply while also offering support to our allies.

Furthermore, the roadmap outlines the government’s ambition to secure investment decisions ranging from 3 to 7 gigawatts every five years, spanning from 2030 to 2044, for new nuclear projects. This signals a commitment to ongoing advancements and sustained growth in the nuclear energy sector.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Nuclear is the perfect antidote to the energy challenges facing Britain – it’s green, cheaper in the long term and will ensure the UK’s energy security for the long-term.

“This is the right long-term decision and is the next step in our commitment to nuclear power, which puts us on course to achieve net zero by 2050 in a measured and sustainable way.”