By Max Clarke
Government must be up front about their support for the nuclear power industry, is the message delivered by the chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, Tim Yeo.
The coalition believes that new nuclear plants “could play a key role in keep the lights on and meeting our climate change targets–but they don’t want to own up to supporting it,” said Yeo.
The Coalition Agreement pledged to allow new nuclear power stations to be built 'provided that they receive no public subsidy'. But MPs believe that Government proposals will effectively provide subsidies to nuclear generators through new long term contracts and a carbon price floor that could hand them windfall profits.
New nuclear has the potential to deliver vast amounts of low carbon energy, averting the nation’s looming energy crisis, though public anger after Japan’s Fukushima crisis has seen politicians distance themselves from the industry in order to maintain popularity with the electorate.
Yeo continued: “The Government must be up front about the support it is giving to nuclear and not hide subsidies in a one-size-fits-all design for long-term energy contracts."