U.K. climate-change chief: Nuclear power has key role in clean-energy efforts

The U.K. Department of Energy Building
The U.K. Department of Energy Building | Courtesy of Gov.UK

U.K. Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd issued new policy priorities for the U.K. in a speech on Wednesday before the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.

Rudd said efforts will include decreasing reliance on fossil fuel-based generation and committing to low-carbon and carbon-free methods of energy generation. Rudd also said there's a prominent role for nuclear generation in the country. Among the challenges that this generation method faces is under-investment, Rudd said. Another challenge is public misconceptions about nuclear science.

“It is imperative we do not make the mistakes of the past and just build one nuclear power station,” Rudd said “There are plans for a new fleet of nuclear power stations, including at Wylfa and Moorside. It also means exploring new opportunities like Small Modular Reactors, which hold the promise of low-cost, low-carbon energy.”

Rudd also said that with nuclear energy, the ability to produce it in a cost-effective manner is also a challenge.

During her address, Rudd also talked about the U.K.’s actions on climate change and meeting climate-mitigation goals for 2050. Rudd also stressed the importance of the upcoming COP21 United Nations Climate Change Conference, set to take place in Paris starting Nov. 30.

"It is about resilience now and in the future, but climate change is a global problem, not a local one," Rudd said. "Action by one state will not solve the problem. It’s what we do together that counts, and that is why achieving a global deal in Paris next month is so important.”

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Department for Energy & Climate Change

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