Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Nuclear Country Notes
The UK had 23 nuclear reactor units in service at the end of 2005, with an aggregate net generating capacity of 12 144 MWe. In 2005, nuclear power accounted for 19% of net electricity generation. Four Magnox reactors (Sizewell A-1 and -2 and Dungeness A-1 and -2) were shut down at the end of 2006, after operating for about forty years. Only two of the first generation of British nuclear power plants (Oldbury and Wylfa) are still in operation: these are scheduled to be shut down in 2008 and 2010, respectively. No new plants are under construction or on order.
The Department of Trade and Industry's 2006 Energy Review Report, The Energy Challenge, stated that 'the Government believes that nuclear has a role to play in the future UK generating mix'. Any new nuclear power station would be proposed, developed, constructed and operated by the private sector. Although there would be no subsidies, assistance would be forthcoming through streamlined planning procedures, pre-licensing, etc.
The White Paper, Meeting the Energy Challenge, published in May 2007, states that the Government's 'preliminary view' was that 'it is in the public interest to allow the private sector the option of investing in new nuclear power stations'. In mid-2007 a period of consultation began during which the Government will seek the views of the public and other interested parties before any firm decisions are made.