UK consumers support new nuclear power plans: poll

29 May 2013 (Last Updated May 29th, 2013 03:30)

A new poll conducted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) shows that majority of people in the UK back government subsidies to set up new nuclear power plants in the country.

Nuclear reactor

A new poll conducted by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) shows that the majority of people in the UK back government subsidies to set up new nuclear power plants in the country.

The poll found that 43% of over 2,000 people surveyed think that the government should subsidise the construction of new reactors, compared to 28% who do not support the idea.

According to the survey, 46% supported the construction of new nuclear power plants in the UK, while 29% are not in favour of such projects.

The survey also found that the main reason for backing nuclear power was because it ensures a secure supply of electricity, is low carbon and provides jobs.

Of the opponents, 73% said nuclear power plants are dangerous, while 70% said they wouldn't support the technology because of issues related to nuclear waste.

IMechE energy and environment head Tim Fox said: "For years now, government has been reluctant to offer nuclear power developers an overt subsidy, partly out of fear of the public back-lash. These poll results show that these fears could be unwarranted.

"The future of the UK new nuclear build programme is currently on a knife-edge. Without an agreed guaranteed commercially attractive long-term price for the electricity from new nuclear plants (the 'strike price'), and a suitable source of investment finance, there can be no progress on building new UK reactors."

Fox added: "Government needs to provide more leadership and help on financing nuclear power if they are serious about a new-build programme in the UK and we are to see the development of nuclear plants at sites like Hinkley Point, Sizewell and Wylfa.

"Government needs to provide more leadership and help on financing nuclear power if they are serious about a new-build programme in the UK."

"These poll results suggest that the public want Government to take decisive action to support nuclear power."

Fox also noted that all low-carbon technologies require high capital investment, but have low operating costs, so the government should offer incentives that appear to be a subsidy at the start and if structured correctly could be a good investment for the government in the long run.

"Apart from helping to secure future low-carbon electricity supplies, these projects could support thousands of jobs, develop UK skills and provide potentially billions of pounds worth of investment into the UK economy," he added.


Image: A survey revealed that majority of people support the construction of new nuclear power plants in the UK. Photo: Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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