Brexit or no Brexit, Britain still needs nuclear energy, says industry chief

Tom Greatrex
Tom Greatrex

The head of the British Nuclear Industry Association will today (29 June) tell the World Nuclear Exhibition in Paris that the result of the referendum in favour of British Independence from the EU-bloc has not changed the UK’s energy challenge.

Tom Greatrex – a former Scots Labour MP and Labour party energy spokesman – Chief Executive of the NIA, said: “The implications <of the Brexit vote> are not yet fully understood, and will not be until there is some clarity both of the timescale for, and approach of, negotiations between the UK and the EU.

“However, the referendum result to leave the EU, just as had there been a result to remain, does not alter the fundamentals of the energy challenge the UK faces.

“Inside or outside the EU, our UK generation capacity has diminished – with more than 24GW of power having been retired in the last six years – and needs to be replaced.

“Inside or outside the EU, our requirement for secure and reliable power to complement wind and solar remains urgent. Inside or outside the EU, our commitments domestically and internationally mean we have to do that in as reliable and low carbon way as possible.

“Inside or outside the EU, and possibly more urgently outside of it, our energy security rests on reducing our exposure to the long term volatility of fossil fuel prices and the negative impacts that has for consumers, be they households or businesses.

“That is why the statements from both the French Government and EDF in relation to their strategy, and the development of Hinkley Point C nuclear power station have not been altered as a result of the referendum decision.”

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