Nuclear in United Kingdom

Installed capacity0.26ktoe

Production1.59Mtoe per year


The UK has 16 reactors generating about 19% of its electricity and all but one of these are due to be retired by 2023. EDF intends to build four new EPR reactors (each of around 1.6 GWe) by 2025, with the first one operational by the end of 2017. RWE and E.ON have announced a joint venture with an objective of delivering at least 6 GWe of new NPPs, with the first station coming on line at around the end of the next decade.

The country has full fuel cycle facilities including major reprocessing plants. The UK has implemented a very thorough assessment process for new reactor designs and their siting.The first of some 19 GWe of new-generation plants are expected to be on line about 2018. The government aims to have 16 GWe of new nuclear capacity on line by 2030.

In the late 1990s, nuclear power plants contributed around 25% of total annual electricity generation in the UK, but this has gradually declined as old plants have been shut down and ageing-related problems affect plant availability. Net electricity imports from France – mostly nuclear – in 2011 were 6.2 billion kWh, less than 2% of overall supply.

The Government is currently preparing a draft National Policy Statement for nuclear power. This will set out the national need for new nuclear power, and include a draft list of sites that the Government has judged to be potentially suitable for the deployment of new NPPs by the end of 2025. Subject to public consultation and Parliamentary scrutiny, the National Policy Statement would be used by the new Infrastructure Planning Commission when it makes decisions on applications for development consent for new NPPs.

The Government expects the first new nuclear power station to be operational from around 2018.