No Nuclear =
No Net Zero
Why Net Zero Needs Nuclear
Make no mistake about it, nuclear power is essential for achieving net zero:
It’s saved more than 2,000,000,000 (2 billion) tonnes of CO2 in the UK, more than any other electricity source.
It generates a ‘firm’ continuous supply of electricity providing a perfect balance to the use of intermittent renewables (which TUSNE supports).
According to the Climate Change Committee we’ll have to quadruple our clean energy capacity by 2050, with nearly 40% of that from ‘firm’ sources like nuclear – nuclear is the only proven large scale firm source.
Nuclear has the same carbon footprint as offshore wind, and a quarter of that of solar.
It can help the decarbonisation of industries like steel, and other sectors key to achieving net zero such as heat, hydrogen production and synthetic fuels for aviation, agriculture and heavy goods transport.
7 of the UK’s 8 nuclear power stations will retire by 2030. We need a new fleet of nuclear power stations, in addition to Hinkley Point C, to meet the needs of net zero.
We need to build a new nuclear fleet now, in addition to renewables, if we have any hope of achieving net zero.
Jobs, A Good’un
What we are witnessing at Hinkley Point C can be multiplied across the country delivering economic growth, £billions of investment, tens of thousands of jobs and thousands of apprenticeships.
The nuclear industry currently sustains 65,000 direct jobs, with a GVA per worker of £96,000.
The nuclear industry provides highly skilled engineering jobs in the UK:
The UK nuclear sector is amongst the most advanced in the world. Let’s not waste that valuable resource!
New nuclear helps to sustain the construction, manufacturing and engineering industries.
The industry has provided good employment for our members in a safe environment for many years.
It’s brought sustained prosperity to the local communities across the UK - whether that’s in rural areas or those with a proud industrial heritage – both key targets for levelling up the UK economy.
A thriving nuclear sector, contributing 40% of net zero energy by 2050, would deliver £33 billion Gross Value Added per year and well over 300,000 job opportunities.
What Do We Want? A Financing Model!
When Do We Want It? Now!
When Do We Want It? Now!
Nuclear is unlike many other electricity generation technologies as it has high upfront costs but very low and predictable operational costs.
High cost of capital financing is a barrier to new nuclear:
It’ll be many years before there is a return on investment.
At Hinkley Point C, developers needed to borrow £billions at market rates.
This meant the cost of capital for Hinkley Point C represents up to 2/3 of the strike price.
This high cost of capital means higher costs for consumers. – A 1% reduction in the upfront cost would reduce the cost to the consumer by £8-9/MWh.
The Government has consulted on a way forward for financing – the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model. This:
incentivises private capital by providing returns for investors during construction.
reduces investment risk, allowing borrowing at rates close to what the Government would pay.
reduces overall costs to the consumer.
is a proven model used on projects such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel and Heathrow T5.
Another alternative would be for the Government to take a direct stake:
The government can borrow at very low rates.
The public share of the project could either be sold on at a profit once construction is complete, or it could be retained for dividends.
The Government has indicated it is open to either of these solutions, but a decision needs to be taken now, otherwise net zero is at risk. Let’s have stimulation not stagnation!