Why new nuclear?
Nuclear power is the most affordable large-scale low-carbon energy source currently available to the UK. A new generation of nuclear power stations could help the UK fulfil its commitments to tackling climate change and realise its vision of a secure, affordable electricity supply.
The UK Government believes new nuclear power stations should form part of a low-carbon energy system that also involves:
- renewable energy
- fossil fuel power stations fitted with carbon capture and storage technology
- measures to increase energy efficiency and so drive down demand.
EDF Energy is proposing to build four new nuclear plants in the UK, and is confident that this can be done safely, economically and without public subsidy.
The majority of the reactors operated by EDF Energy in the UK are reaching the end of their scheduled lives. The company proposes to build four European pressurised water reactors to provide the UK with affordable low-carbon energy for many decades.
If the new reactors go ahead they will be built at existing nuclear sites at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk, providing a boost to the local communities and to the UK economy as a whole.
Achieving a Zero Harm safety record is one of the core business objectives that inform all of EDF Energy's operations, including the operation of its existing nuclear fleet and proposed new reactors.
EDF Group's nuclear plants have a combined installed power of around 74 million kW and the company plans to invest in about ten more nuclear power station projects around the world by 2020.
Waste produced by the nuclear industry is highly regulated in the UK and this governs how nuclear operators – including EDF Energy – manage waste.