The United Kingdom is a pioneer of nuclear technologies and opened the world’s first commercial nuclear power station in 1956, at Calder Hall near Sellafield in Cumbria. Nuclear power has delivered great benefits: it has supported national defence, generated electricity for more than 60 years and our country remains a world-leading nuclear enterprise.
Today the UK is faced with the challenge of cleaning up the legacy of its early nuclear operations – a large-scale programme undertaken by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). This includes delivering innovative solutions for managing radioactive waste that meet today’s safety standards and will protect us into the distant future.
UK Government policy is to have a wide mix of energy supplies, so we use nuclear alongside other energy sources, such as gas and solar. Today, nuclear energy generates around one fifth of the country’s electricity, and under current government proposals that include Hinkley Point C, some of our power will come from nuclear sources in the future.
There are important reasons why nuclear is part of the mix:
it’s a low carbon choice that supports the UK’s climate change goals: nuclear power stations generate electricity without emitting greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane
nuclear power plants produce electricity 24 hours a day, whatever the weather
nuclear power plants don’t require a daily supply of new fuel to operate, unlike gas, coal and biomass plant
The WNF Steering Group is made up of 9 industry leading professionals who champion ideas from members, and take them forward with the Welsh Government to make a significant impact within the Nuclear Industry.