11 January 2024
Dunne welcomes civil nuclear power road map

Philip Dunne welcomes the roadmap and calls for a broad consensus behind the renewal of nuclear energy capacity to ensure development proceeds in a safe and effective way.

Philip Dunne (Ludlow) (Con)

Today’s statement provides welcome clarity about the Government’s road map for the delivery and revival of new nuclear energy capacity, and I will be writing on behalf of my Committee to the Minister shortly to raise some points about the SMR competition that he has touched on today. Notwithstanding the grudging support from those on the Opposition Front Bench, what steps is my hon. Friend taking to build the broad consensus behind this essential component of the delivery of net zero, so that the road map does not fall victim to the short-term thinking that bedevilled the delivery of a safe and effective renewal of nuclear capacity in the past, notably under the previous Labour Government?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero (Andrew Bowie)

I thank my right hon. Friend for his support of this document and for the work that he has done in chairing the Committee to drive forward the arguments for further investment in nuclear. I know he shares my belief that if we are to reach net zero, nuclear will play a large part in the mix of energy solutions that we invest in.

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right that we need to build a broad consensus. I genuinely welcome the support of the official Opposition for new investment in nuclear. As I said, when we look around the world, the pace at which the mood is changing and the broad acceptance of nuclear as a key benefit in reaching our net zero goals is incredible. It will take a lot of hard work on the part of all of us who believe in the benefits that nuclear can bring economically, to our energy security and, ultimately and most importantly, to the environment, to keep the pressure up. I look forward to his writing to me, and to discussing the issues that he has raised further, and I thank him once again for his broad support for what we are trying to deliver.