Two UK nuclear power plants aimed at meeting obligations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions will likely be followed by others once the government sees the energy comes at a reasonable price, former adviser to the UK government Sir David King told RT.
RT: It seems the UK is rather bucking the trend compared to the rest of the world, particularly Germany, when it comes to nuclear power. Why is that?
David King: A decision was made back in 2007 by the British government that we should invest in new nuclear power stations. The Fukushima disaster has been analyzed in painful detail by those of us who advise governments, and the conclusion is that we can still build nuclear power stations safely and deliver electricity in a reliable way.
What you’ve got to also remember is that in Britain we have a commitment to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050. And we have a detailed plan to achieve that. The parliament has set out a climate change committee. They’ve established carbon budgets on a full yearly basis and we have carbon budgets out to 2028. In order to meet these budgets, we have a detailed plan of producing electricity on the grid. And included in that plan are renewables. Included in that plan is nuclear energy. So it is part of a mix.
RT: The main argument being named against building nuclear plants is the risk of a disaster, like the one in Japan in 2011. How big is the threat? Surely you can’t put a price on people’s safety?
DK: We’re not putting a price on people’s safety in the way you’re suggesting at all. We have the toughest regulatory procedures in the world in place. And the new nuclear power stations that would be built – two more would be built as the result of a decision announced this morning by the government – these power stations would be even safer than the previous generation of power stations because of the regulations that are being tightened up so much.
‘Historically safest energy’: UK needs nuclear plants to reduce carbon emissions but won’t stop there