Former US Energy Secretary Warns UK On New Build Policy

Posted by NucNet on 17 November 2014 in NucNet

Comment & People

Former US energy secretary and Nobel prizewinning physicist Steven Chu believes using a variety of reactor designs – as the UK looks poised to do – is not the best way to keep costs down.

Mr Chu told The Guardian newspaper that although the British government is right to proceed with new nuclear plants they risk becoming “a financial drain” unless they can be built on time and on budget.

He said: “Unless we can learn to build nuclear on schedule and on budget it will be a financial drain. Other countries have learned how to do this: South Korea has built 10 plants exactly the same and the 10th plant was only 60 per cent of the cost of the original one. The cost came marching down because they just kept doing the same thing.”

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers): EC Approves State Aid Package For UK’s Hinkley Point (Nuclear Politics No. 10, 03 November 2014)