“Nuclear generation is the only credible carbon-free option” says BNFL chief

14th May 2002 – Commenting on today’s government announcement launching a consultation into the UK’s future energy policy, BNFL’s Chief Executive Norman Askew said, “Nuclear generation is safe, secure, environmentally friendly and cost effective. We will use the consultation as an opportunity to re-state this overwhelming case.”

“Nuclear generation is the only credible secure solution to the challenge of achieving real and lasting reductions in CO2 emissions. We need to have the debate but we also need to act. The right policy framework must be created to bring nuclear to the marketplace. If we are to begin to replace the UK’s nuclear generating capacity in 10 years action is needed today, not tomorrow.”

BNFL believes that in order to meet our environmental commitments we need nuclear and renewable generation together as part of a balanced energy mix. Delivering 20 per cent of the UK’s generation needs with renewables is a challenging target. Even if it is achieved, the environmental impact in terms of CO2 emissions will be, at best, neutral unless there is replacement nuclear capacity.

Since publication of the PIU report in February 2002, another nuclear reactor has reached the end of its operating life. By 2010 all of BNFL’s Magnox Stations will have ceased to operate (currently supplying 5 per cent of the UK’s electricity) and by 2020 almost all of the UK’s nuclear generating capacity will be gone (around 25 per cent of the UK’s electricity).

In a statement BNFL warned that, at this point, the UK might be reliant on importing up to 80 per cent of the gas it needs to meet the growing demand for electricity if action is not taken.

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