Nuclear Fast Facts
Nuclear energy has been providing the UK with clean, carbon-free electricity for the last 60 years.
It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of green energy, but nuclear has been contributing to the UK's electricity generation for decades. Nuclear generates electricity with very low carbon emissions and has an important role to play in our energy future.
Nuclear is safe
Did you know that nuclear power is one of the safest forms of electricity generation?
The evidence over six decades shows that nuclear power is a safe means of generating electricity. The risk of accidents in nuclear power stations is very low and declining.
An operating nuclear power plant produces very small amounts of radioactive gases and liquids, as well as small amounts of direct radiation. In fact, you would receive more radiation on a flight to America than you would standing on top of a nuclear reactor.
Nuclear waste can be safely managed
Did you know if you spent your whole life using only nuclear electricity, the waste generated would fit in a drinks can?
Radioactive waste and spent fuel is produced as a result of electricity generation in nuclear power stations and from the use of radioactive material in industry, defence, medicine and scientific research.
Unlike harmful industrial waste products like carbon dioxide, radioactive waste is produced in small amounts and can be stored safely and securely over very long periods of time.
Nuclear is reliable
Did you know that nuclear power is one of the most reliable forms of electricity generation?
Consistency of supply means that nuclear power is the reliable ‘work horse’ of the energy industry producing maximum power more than 91% of the time during the year.
That's about 1.5 to 2 times more than natural gas and coal units, and 2.5 to 3.5 times more reliable than wind and solar plants. Nuclear power provides an excellent baseload to the energy mix- helping to to keep the lights on when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing.
Nuclear is low carbon
Did you know that during its life, the electricity produced by Hinkley Point C will generate less CO2 than wind or solar power?
Hinkley Point C’s contribution to fighting climate change means that during its 60 years of operation it will have a large, positive impact on the environment.
Like all technologies, the construction and operation of nuclear creates some carbon dioxide emissions. Once operational, Hinkley Point C will produce very small amounts of carbon emissions and the overall lifecylce impact will be even smaller than for wind and solar. Importantly all three technologies have emissions which are a just a fraction of gas and coal.