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Britain needs nuclear to keep the lights on - IoD

22 Oct 2015

Foreign investment will play a vital role in renewing UK infrastructure

The Institute of Directors has welcomed closer economic co-operation between the UK and China, as signalled by the signing of a deal for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point.

Simon Walker, Director General at the Institute of Directors, said:

“If we are to keep the lights on, wean ourselves off fossil fuels and meet global climate change targets, nuclear energy has a vital role to play in our economy. It is clean, safe and secure, and the construction of power plants creates thousands of high-skill jobs and apprenticeships.

“Companies around the world are hungry to invest in Britain, and can bring the skills and capital needed to deliver major infrastructure like new power plants. We welcome investment in nuclear energy whether it comes from China, France, Japan, South Korea or anywhere else. The Hinkley deal must only be the beginning of the expansion of nuclear power generation. Building nuclear plants is a very costly business, and the Government must carefully balance the need to get value for money for households and businesses with the need to attract investors.  

“Warnings about winter power shortages have become predictable annual events, and using policies like paying manufacturers to stop using energy in peak hours is no way to run a modern economy. Nuclear is exactly the sort of energy supply which can consign such stop-gap measures to the past. For the three-quarters of businesses that want nuclear to account for a larger proportion of our energy mix, the next generation of nuclear power stations cannot come online soon enough.”

In a survey of 1,057 IoD members conducted between 28 July and 13 August 2015:

  • 82% said that new nuclear power stations should be built in the UK
  • 75% said they wanted nuclear energy to account for a larger proportion of the UK’s energy supply

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