UK eyes seven new nuclear plants

By Mike Hayes04 April 2022

The UK government is planning a significant expansion of its nuclear energy capacity, with seven new nuclear plants potentially being commissioned by 2050.

Construction activity at the UK’s Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. Photo: Hinkley Point C

In an interview with The Telegraph, the UK’s business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, described the increasing need for the country to increase its energy self-reliance, saying, “there is a world where we have six or seven sites in the UK [by 2050]”.

Kwarteng’s interview followed an agreement within the government to establish a body (Great British Nuclear) with the power to expedite the process of identifying sites and offering contracts to build and run plants.

With all but one of the UK’s current nuclear plants set to be decommissioned by 2030, the country’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is expected to announce his support for the construction of at least two large-scale nuclear plants by 2030, along with plans for the construction of a number of small modular reactors.

The wider plan that Kwarteng has outlined would see the UK’s nuclear energy output increase to more than three times the current 24GW by 2050. This would see up to a quarter of the country’s energy mix being provided by nuclear plants.

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