An overview of the advantages of nuclear power and the measures the government is taking to assist its growth in the UK.

Why use nuclear energy?

We must make sure that Britain's future energy supply is supported by locally produced, dependable, affordable, low-carbon power in light of the current worldwide gas prices.

Large-scale nuclear power is a highly low-carbon technology that produces the dependable baseload energy we want on a large scale from a very small land area; Hinkley Point C, for instance, will power around 6 million households from a mere quarter of a square mile.

Is nuclear energy secure?

Yes. Nuclear power plants are “among the safest and most secure facilities in the world,” according to the International Atomic Electricity Agency of the UN, and nuclear power is one of the safest methods of generating energy.

For comparison, the yearly radiation exposure for an adult residing close to a new nuclear station is considerably lower than that of a single transatlantic flight or 100g of Brazil nuts, neither of which contain significant levels of radiation.

The UK has an industry that sets a very high emphasis on safety and consistently achieves world-leading health and safety standards. We also have a well-respected regulatory structure that reflects international best practice.

The UK has used nuclear energy safely for many years, and all nuclear operators in the country are subject to strict regulations set by independent regulators, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), as well as the appropriate environmental regulator. Any nuclear installation would not be permitted to function if the ONR determined it to be unsafe or insecure.

How does nuclear energy function?

Steam is created in conventional nuclear power reactors using heat created during nuclear fission. The electricity is produced by enormous turbines that are spun by the steam. Using nuclear energy, water is heated.

Atoms split apart to produce smaller atoms during nuclear fission, which releases energy. Inside a nuclear power plant's reactor, fission occurs. The core of the reactor is where the uranium fuel, which has been divided into ceramic pellets, is located.

The energy output of each ceramic pellet is comparable to that of 150 gallons (0.68 m³) of oil. In 12-foot metal fuel rods, these energy-dense pellets are stacked one on top of the other. A fuel assembly is a collection of fuel rods, some of which number in the hundreds. A fuel assembly is one of many in a reactor core.

The role of new nuclear energy generating capacity, in cooperation with renewables, has been emphasized by both the Committee on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency as a crucial component of achieving net-zero. In a recent report, the UN Economic Commission for Europe made it very plain that if nuclear technologies are not included in further DE carbonization, “the world's climate targets would not be realized.”

What about the disposal of nuclear waste?

Geological Disposal Facilities (GDF) will be used by the government to get rid of nuclear waste.

Internationally, GDF is acknowledged as the finest long-term approach to managing radioactive waste.

For the radioactive waste that has accumulated over many years, we require a long-term solution. Although it is now securely kept in facilities all throughout the UK, this isn't a long-term solution, so we'll be switching to geological disposal for both new and old rubbish.

Events for local participation are being held so that residents can learn more about a GDF and what it would entail for the community that hosts it.

A GDF is a multibillion-pound infrastructure project that will bring the community it is built in for more than a century of skilled employment and benefits. Major investments in infrastructure for local transportation and other purposes are also probably involved.

What is the government currently doing to support nuclear power?

Great British Nuclear, a new government organization, will be established right away to advance new initiatives that are supported by sizable finance. Additionally, we will introduce the Future Nuclear Enabling Fund, worth £120 million, this month. This decade, we'll seek to get a number of projects forward as quickly as we can, including the Wylfa site on Anglesey. This might entail speeding up nuclear in Britain by delivering up to 8 reactors, or one reactor each year, rather than one every ten years.

In the previous week, the Nuclear Energy (Financing) Act got royal assent. By enabling the use of the Regulated Asset Base finance model for future nuclear projects, the Act will remove roadblocks to their development and lower the cost of financing them.

The Advanced Nuclear Fund comprises the maximum £210 million that Rolls-Royce was granted in November 2021 to create the blueprint for one of the first Small Modular Reactors ever built. Early in the 2030s, this might be implemented in the UK to greatly increase the country's nuclear capacity.

In order to give targeted support for new nuclear and facilitate the entry of new businesses into the market, we are also establishing a new Future Nuclear Enabling Fund with a cap of £120 million.

What are Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)?

The traditional water-cooled nuclear reactors are scaled down in size and are known as small modular reactors. Designs come in a variety of sizes, but their power output ranges from around a quarter to a third that of Hinkley Point C's larger, more conventional reactors.

Around the world, numerous novel reactor technologies are being developed. Beyond low-carbon electricity generation, several designs have the potential for a variety of uses, such as hydrogen synthesis, direct heat for commercial or residential usage, or nuclear waste management.

The UK government thinks that SMRs might be a key low-carbon energy source for a safe, cost-effective decarbonized energy system, working in tandem with big nuclear. They can be simply produced elsewhere and used wherever they are needed, making them a potentially game-changing technology for the UK's industrial heartlands.

What are Advanced Modular Reactors (AMRs)?

The next generation of nuclear power is AMR's. These reactors produce extreme heat for industrial applications as well as electricity to power people's homes using new and cutting-edge fuels, coolants, and technologies.

They utilize the same modular building techniques as SMRs, giving them greater deployment flexibility. The Advanced Modular Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) initiative, which intends to enable an AMR demonstration by the early 2030s at the latest, is also funded as part of the ANF. High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGRs) will be the program's primary technological focus, as we just revealed.

How long does it take for a nuclear plant to come online?

Depending on a variety of variables, the timetable for new nuclear project completion varies greatly.

Despite the lengthy building times associated with large-scale nuclear projects, Small Modular Reactors, for instance, might be ready for deployment in the early 2030s because of advancements in manufacturing and construction.

Many of the UK power plants constructed in the 1970s and 1980s have had their lifespans extended by EDF, which runs Sizewell B and all the UK's Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs).

Nuclear power plants, on the other hand, enter the phase of their lives known as fuel removal and preparation for decommissioning when they reach the end of their generating capacity.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), a government organization with high-level technical knowledge in handling this procedure in a secure and safe manner, is in charge of it.

In England and Scotland, EDF Energy currently runs 6 generating stations. It is anticipated that Sizewell B, the only pressurized water reactor in the UK, will continue to operate after 2028.

The generation at the AGR stations at Torness, Hinkley Point B, Heysham 1, Heysham 2, and Hartlepool will come to an end between 2022 and 2028.

Dungeness B and Hunterston B, two further AGR stations, recently stopped generating in preparation for the final step of defuelingand subsequent decommissioning.

The NDA's objective is to securely decommission these facilities so that the area can be used for other purposes in the future.

The NDA has a history of engagement and land transfers within their portfolio and welcomes participation from any parties with a potential future use of property.

People also ask

How many nuclear power plants are there in the UK?

EDF Energy currently has 6 generating stations throughout England and Scotland. The UK's sole pressurized water reactor, Sizewell B, is anticipated to continue operating past 2028. Between 2022 and 2028, generation at the AGR stations at Torness, Hinkley Point B, Heysham 1, Heysham 2, and Hartlepool will come to an end.

In the UK in 2022, how many power plants are there?

In the UK, there are currently three operational coal-fired power plants. They have a 3.52GW overall generating capacity.

Is all the electricity in the UK produced domestically?

Numerous domestic and international sources, as well as domestic sources, provide energy to the UK. It is produced from various energy sources like coal, natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy sources, and it primarily enters people's homes as gas and electricity, giving heating and power.

Where does the United Kingdom obtain the majority of its electricity?

The UK's current energy sources

Gas accounts for about 41% of the energy that is typically provided by UK companies. Around 30% of the energy is produced by renewable sources, such as wind power, while coal and nuclear power each account for about 13% and 11% of the total energy produced.

What is the largest power plant in the UK?

Drax Power Station

Between Selby and Goole, it is located along the River Ouse. Its 3,906 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity, the most of any power plant in the UK, accounts for around 6% of the country's electrical needs.

Does the United Kingdom export electricity?

According to the Electric Insights report, which Imperial Consultants commissioned, the United Kingdom exported 8% (5.5TWh) of its electricity in the three months leading up to June 2022, the highest percentage ever.

Is it possible for the UK to become energy independent?

The future prime minister should approve the building of nuclear reactors to guarantee that the UK achieves energy self-sufficiency by 2035 in order to prevent us from running into similar energy-related problems in the future.

What in the UK uses the most electricity?

About 25% of the electricity used by the typical household is used by washing machines, dishwashers, and other comparable equipment. TVs and video gaming consoles use 19% of a household's electricity, so simply turning them off might result in a £40 annual savings for the typical user.

Why does the UK send so much electricity abroad?

This shift has been linked by analysts to several factors, including the conflict in Ukraine, the limited availability of French nuclear power, and Britain's stance on liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments into Europe. They point out that each of these elements played a part in the switch in the net import to net export stance of GB inter connector flows.

Does the UK require energy imports?

The majority of households in England and Wales are heated by the mains gas supply, and the UK imports approximately 50% of its gas from the foreign market. Around a third of the UK's electricity is produced using gas, so rising gas costs typically result in higher electricity prices.

Why does the UK purchase electricity from France?

Because of its affordable, dependable nuclear generation, France has historically been a major exporter of electricity to the UK. That reliance on nuclear energy has now shown to be anything but affordable and dependable; France has ordered EDF to close 17 of its nuclear generating facilities due to safety concerns.

Which type of energy is dwindling in the UK?


Due to coal mine closures and a pattern of usually declining demand over time, notably for power, domestic coal production has decreased significantly. From 1.0 million tons in the second quarter of 2021 to 1.4 million tons in the second quarter of 2022, imports filled the void.

Which nation is the most energy independent?

Norway leads the Index with a performance rating of 0.75 out of 1. The two fundamental causes of Norway's prosperity are its abundant natural resource endowment and its emphasis on the creation of renewable, sustainable energy.

Can the UK transition to 100% renewable energy?

Switching to an electricity system with 100% zero-carbon generation—much of which is anticipated to come from renewable energy—is a significant aspect of the UK's ambition to attain net-zero by 2050.

What fuel does the UK substitute for coal?

The UK generated 43.1% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2020, comprising hydro (2.2%), wind (24.2%), and bioenergy (12.6%). Only 1.8% of the electricity produced that year came from coal, and 16.1% came from nuclear power.

How much of the electricity in the UK is imported?


Grid supply for the energy sector in the United Kingdom in 2019 was made up of 8% imports, 16.8% nuclear power, 48.5% zero-carbon generation, and 43.3% fossil fuel power (nearly exclusively from natural gas).

Why is electricity in Europe so expensive?

In 2022, the cost of energy in the EU has risen to all-time highs. Following the COVID-19 pandemic and rising global demand, the spike in wholesale energy costs that is associated with it began in 2021. Both the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the weather have made things worse.

Can the UK produce its own energy?

Gas supply to the UK

The UK does have its own fuel reserves, but the nature of those reserves has changed through time, and less of our fuel is now produced domestically. As a result, the UK also imports gas, primarily from Russia but also from Norway.

How long will coal be available in the UK?

The proved reserves of the United Kingdom are 1.9 times its annual consumption. Thus, there are just around two years' worth of coal left (at current consumption levels and excluding unproven reserves).

Where does most of the electricity in Britain come from?

Current energy sources in the UK

Gas accounts for about 41% of the energy that UK companies deliver on average. Around 30% of the energy supplied is produced by renewable sources, such as wind power, compared to 13% and 11% for coal and nuclear power, respectively.

Who has the largest global electricity ownership?

By annual power generation, these nations are listed. The United Kingdom, China, and India are the top three countries in the world for power production.

Who will lead the world's first nation free of fossil fuels?


Sweden is still dedicated to playing a pioneering role in climate action. Sweden seeks to demonstrate a wealthy, inclusive, and egalitarian society without greenhouse gas emissions, with the overall objective of being the first fossil-free welfare state in the world.

Which nation has the highest per-household electricity use?

Iceland uses an average of 52.98 megawatt-hours of power per person in 2021, making it by far the largest electricity consumer in the world. The combination of low-cost power production, rising heating demand, and the existence of energy-intensive sectors in the nation all contribute to this.

How long will the globe have access to fuel?

The depletion of fossil fuels is anticipated to occur this century. Coal can last for up to 114 years, while natural gas can last for up to 53 years for oil. However, the demand for renewable energy isn't high enough, so we may quickly deplete our supplies.

Which nation produces the most electricity from waste?

The majority of solid waste-derived power is produced in America. The projects for making thread, paper, and other usable products from banana peelings have been created in Japan.

What is the world's largest utility?

Based on market valuation, the top electric utilities worldwide in 2022. The largest electric utility firm globally in 2022, Next Era Energy, with its headquarters in Florida, had a market value of 145.27 billion dollars. Duke Energy, which came in second, with a market value of 105.4 billion dollars.

Why is electricity in Europe so expensive?

In 2022, the cost of energy in the EU has risen to all-time highs. Following the COVID-19 pandemic and rising global demand, the spike in wholesale energy costs that is associated with it began in 2021. Both the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the weather have made things worse.

Why is electricity in the UK so costly?

The rate of inflation has reached almost 10%. The energy issue has got worse over the past year as a result of rising demand brought on by the post-Covid reopening of economies and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which put a strain on gas supplies to Europe.

Is heating a single room or the entire house more affordable?

Even though there is less value if your house is well-insulated, in larger homes, a tiny room that is less than a quarter of the area of the entire house might be worth heating separately.

What is the cheapest method of home heating in the UK?

What Home Heating Method Is Cheapest?

  • The least expensive method of heating your home is using a gas boiler and solar thermal panels.

  • But during the next ten years, electric combo boilers will overtake all other types.

  • The most expensive heating system is one that uses ground source heat pumps.

Which costs less, gas or electricity to boil a kettle?

Which method—using an electric kettle, a gas stovetop kettle, or a microwave—uses the least amount of energy? Regardless of the heating method, one liter of water requires the same amount of energy to be heated. The length of time required by each method is the only distinction between them.


Now you understand that using the free energy price comparison tool of UtilityKing will not only help you to compare energy suppliers but also bring you the options to select the best electricity provider in your area. UtilityKing is also able to help you with energy switch to ensure that you will get the best energy deals from the cheapest energy supplier.

Fill in the form in just 1 minute

Contact Us