Nuclear power stations ‘operational by 2018’

Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has announced that new nuclear power stations in a number of sites should be fully operational by 2018.

The sites are mainly where there have previously been nuclear power stations, and thus have support from locals, according to Mr Huhne.

EDF and Centrica are planning to build the first power stations by 2017, followed by a consortium of RWE and E.ON by 2020, it is thought.

Mr Huhne commented on BBC Radio 4‘s Today programme: ‘We have eight years before – I hope – the first [nuclear power station] will make a contribution to the grid.’

He added that there would be investment in new nuclear as ‘an important part of our energy mix – along, of course, with coal and gas, as long as there is carbon capture and storage, and along with renewables.’

The Government would not subsidise the new nuclear power stations and

investors were ready to press ahead thanks to rising gas, oil and carbon

prices, the minister, who was previously thought to oppose building new nuclear power plants, added. Two weeks ago, Mr Huhne also gave his backing to more wind power, stating that is vital the UK becomes more independent in its energy supplies.

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