U.K. says it's glow time, declares nuclear "environmentally sustainable"

AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool

Wowsers. What a difference a cold, dark, expensive winter makes.


In the culmination of an effort and advocacy begun by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, U.K. chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced yesterday that nuclear energy was being reclassified as “environmentally sustainable” in Britain. That’s not just semantics, It opens nuclear up to all the financing, incentives and opportunities available to any of the so-called Green/renewable energy strategies they’ve been pursuing for the past decade or so. It’s basically the government’s official blessing to go forth and try to multiply.

Nuclear power is to be classed as “environmentally sustainable” in the UK’s green taxonomy, giving it access to the same investment incentives as renewable energy, chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in his spring budget 2023 speech on Wednesday (15 March).

Hunt also said the government would launch the first competition for small modular reactors. It will be completed by the end of this year and if demonstrated as viable “we will co-fund this exciting new technology”.

He announced the launch of Great British Nuclear, a government-backed agency which will he said will bring down costs and provide opportunities across the nuclear supply chain to help provide up to 25% of the country’s electricity by 2050, up from around 15% today.


If their sentiments are any indication, the Sunak government would like nuclear reactors to multiply as quickly and safely as possible, and are all in on facilitating that end.

…Nuclear power is a key pillar of Britain’s net zero strategy. The government wants to build both large-scale and small modular reactors and has committed to approving eight before the end of the decade. The private sector has been slow to come forward with cash, despite a redesign of the financing mechanism rolled out by government in hope it would attract pension and infrastructure funds.

…A competition for Small Modular Reactors will be completed by the end of this year and if the selected technology is proven viable, the government will co-fund the winning project.

Rolls Royce Holdings Plc was awarded £210 million of government money in 2021 toward the development of this technology. The company is expected to enter the competition.

In a bald statement of fact that has to be galling to the rabid renewable faction so invested in making their fellow Brits’ lives miserable, Hunt laid out the plain truth – the U.K. must have something reliable to back up all the condition-dependent renewable energy sources. “Condition” meaning something must blow or shine before any power is generated.


…Hunt told MPs: “We have increased the proportion of electricity generated from renewables from under 10% to nearly 40%.

But because the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine, we will need another critical source of cheap and reliable energy. And that is nuclear.”

They’ve found out repeatedly this winter that is a truism. And it’s not only the weather that takes renewables out (as I’ve posted on before) – their reliability and maintenance issues, especially for wind, are hardly up to par for the bazillions being spent and the lives dependent upon the technology. You can’t keep lugging diesel generators to the highlands to try to keep them warm, or ferrying turbines back and forth from ocean wind farms that haven’t even become operational yet, and are already breaking down.

The country needs something humming along in the background. Unfortunately, they came to that realization a little late in the renewables game after self-righteously planning on shuttering everything.

…In recent years the UK has generated about 15% of its power from its fleet of commercial nuclear power plants, but most are being retired this decade, with the last one – Sizewell B – due to close in 2035.

Since 2000, the UK has seen permanent reactor shutdowns at Hinkley Point A, Bradwell, Calder Hall, Hunterston, Oldbury, Sizewell, Chapelcross, Dungeness and Wylfa.

The only remaining operating plants are nine reactors across four sites at Hartlepool, Heysham, Sizewell B and Torness. There are two plants under construction at Hinkley Point C and another two in the pipeline at Sizewell C.


Everyone loves to be sold a bill of unicorn dreams, and it’s just the rudest shock when it doesn’t work out.

Now, it’s all about MAYDAY, MAYDAY and the “fast track.” Better late than never.

Let the shrieking begin.

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