GB News: Dan Wootton discusses nuclear energy plan
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The Prime Minister today unveiled a major package to tackle the energy crisis, which in the short-term will see bills frozen at £2,500 until 2024. But as volatile gas markets have exposed the need for the UK to ramp up its homegrown supplies and slash Britain’s dependence on energy imports, Ms Truss also signalled the importance of a long-term plan and pledged to tackle the “supply” side of the crisis, pinpointing the importance of nuclear power.
Ms Truss also noted the UK has previously been too slow at rolling out nuclear energy, which is partially why Britain is vulnerable to skyrocketing gas prices that have a knock-on impact on British billpayers.
She said: “Energy policy over the past decades has not focused enough on securing supply.
“There’s no better example than nuclear, where the UK has not built a single new nuclear reactor in 25 years.”
To address this, the Prime Minister is launching “Great British Nuclear later this month – putting us on the path to deliver up to a quarter of our electricity generation with nuclear by 2050”.
But Sizewell C, a huge planned nuclear plant in Suffolk, is likely hugely important for helping the UK to reach that target. And former Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the project is “a part of our Great British Nuclear campaign”.
However, anti-nuclear campaign group Stop Sizewell C claims the £30billion project can only be financed through an energy levy, which Ms Truss pledged to suspend in her speech.
The group said: “By suspending green levies Liz Truss has backed herself into a corner.
“Slow, damaging, £30billion Sizewell C can only be financed by adding a nuclear levy to struggling households, because the markets won’t touch it without being guaranteed money back during construction.
“Her Government’s review of net zero should conclude that Sizewell C must be cancelled.”
Green levies make up around 8 percent of Britons’ energy bills, and the Government has claimed that scrapping them could slash an extra £150 a year off household bills.
But the levy, which is an environmental charge on bills, may also be needed to fund a Government plan to cut the cost of new power stations, according to the campaigners.
While Nuclear is not strictly considered a green form of energy, a Treasury-led public consultation on the “taxonomy” (a list sustainable investments) of nuclear energy is expected this autumn.
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The group asks: “Does this mean Sizewell C could not start during such a freeze?”
However, Mr Johnson pledged to pump £700million of Government funds into Sizewell C as one of his last acts in charge.
He said: “We must pull our national finger out and get on with Sizewell C. That is why we are putting up to £700million into the deal.”
Mr Johnson noted that this makes up £1.7billion of new direct Government funding to develop a large-scale nuclear project announced in October.
He added that it would be “absolute madness” not to get the project over the line.
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