Energy bills: Starmer slammed by pensioner for lack of 'reassurance'
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Mr Johnson has been a major advocate of nuclear energy generation in the UK, announcing a plan to generate a quarter of the country’s energy supply from nuclear by 2050 earlier this year. In one of his final acts in office, the outgoing Prime Minister is also reportedly preparing to announce an in-principle agreement that would fund the Sizewell C reactor. This nuclear power station, which is to be constructed on the Suffolk coast, will be a 3,200 MWe plant, which is powerful enough to supply electricity for some six million homes.
While the UK’s growing investment in nuclear energy has been growing, Mr Johnson slammed Labour for allowing the UK to fall behind other countries during the period between 1997 and 2010, when the party was in power.
Nuclear energy is a major part of France’s energy supply, generating 70 percent of its electricity at its peak.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Express, Mr Johnson said: “The potential of this country is enormous.
“We have a problem with our energy supplies, we had 13 years in which the Labour government didn’t build a single nuclear reactor and didn’t even greenlight a single nuclear reactor, which was even worse.
“So, no wonder the French have less of a problem with energy price inflation when they have huge quantities of juice coming from nuclear.
“This is a country that first split the atom, this is a country that built the first nuclear reactor called Calder Hall in Cumbria.
“We are the pioneers. How have we allowed ourselves to be overtaken in this way?
“And the answer is that we won’t allow ourselves to be overtaken. We will come back from it.”
In 2004, then Environment Secretary, Margaret Beckett rejected pressure from lobbyists, arguing that “we certainly do not need extra nuclear power” for at least 10-15 years.
Meanwhile, the 2003 Government’s Energy White Paper titled “Our Energy Future – Creating a Low Carbon Economy” concluded that nuclear energy’s “current economics make it an unattractive option for new, carbon-free generating capacity and there are also important issues of nuclear waste to be resolved.
“These issues include our legacy waste and continued waste arising from other sources. “This white paper does not contain specific proposals for building new nuclear power stations.
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“However we do not rule out the possibility that at some point in the future new nuclear build might be necessary if we are to meet our carbon targets.”
Nuclear energy is set to make a major comeback in the UK, the European Pressurised Design facility of Sizewell C is expected to cover a staggering seven percent of the country’s energy needs.
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