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UK nuclear policy is complacent says House of Lords

The UK’s House of Lords has accused the government of complacency towards Britain’s nuclear research and development capabilities.

It claims that the UK “is in danger of losing expertise” in the nuclear sector and is demanding fundamental change in the government’s approach.

In a report published today, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee calls for a nuclear R&D roadmap that will develop a long term strategy that looks beyond 2025. This, it states, “is vital to ensure that the UK keeps the nuclear energy options open”.

It also wants the government to set up a nuclear R&D board comprising industry, academic and government partners, to implement the R&D roadmap.

Committee chairman Lord Krebs said: “Many of the UK’s experts in R&D on nuclear energy are nearing retirement age. The UK’s expertise was built on past investments in research and a lack of investment over the last two decades means that the UK is now in danger of losing this expertise.

“As a result, we are in danger of placing ourselves in a position where we will be unable to ensure a safe and secure supply of nuclear energy up to 2050.”

He added that the government must “act now to ensure that there is a new generation of experts” and stated that without this action, “the government’s nuclear energy policy simply lacks credibility”.