Výběr zpráv ze sítě NucNet - 17. týden 2006

Waste And Cost Are Not Barriers To New-Build, Says UK Industry Group

Fears over the feasibility of new nuclear power plants are
often “more perceived than real”, and neither the waste nor the cost issue
are insurmountable barriers to investment, an influential UK business group
has said.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said companies would seriously
consider investing in a new nuclear build programme, without the need for
government subsidies, if the right long-term framework was in place to
support low carbon energy sources.

It said the current lack of clarity about the mechanisms and policies for
pricing carbon after 2012 is holding back investors from committing the large
sums necessary to construct new plants. The CBI specifically wants the
government to clarify whether the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will
remain as the core measure for pricing carbon emissions beyond 2012, when
both the Kyoto period and ETS end.

In a submission to the government’s energy review, announced by prime
minister Tony Blair in September 2005, the CBI said a new reactor programme
would only add about 10% to the UK’s existing volume of waste because modern
reactors are more efficient and produce less waste.

This would not significantly alter the nature of the waste challenge, it
said. The issue of waste is likely to become a political issue of site
choice, which has to be addressed anyway for legacy waste, rather than a
fundamental barrier to new-build.

On cost, the submission admitted nuclear has been a costly form of
generation for the UK in the past. However, it said the reasons for this are
well understood and include bespoke reactor design, political interference in
technology choices, and the ability to pass on any cost to energy users in a
state-run system. These problems would not be replicated for a new
programme.

The regulatory framework should be revised to allow nuclear to compete on
its own merits as a low carbon energy source, the CBI said.

The group called for pre-licensing of reactor designs, the “stable and
equitable treatment in legal and fiscal terms” of those investing in and
operating new nuclear reactors, and an improved planning process, with the
national case for allowing new nuclear construction decided nationally, and
local inquiries focusing only on site specific issues.

CBI director-general Sir Digby Jones said a planning process designed in the
middle of the last century is hampering the ability of business to deliver
the energy projects needed today and in the future. And he said instead of
“irresponsible scaremongering” by anti-nuclear lobby groups, what the country
badly needs is a mature, factually based debate.

Sir Digby said if the government delivers greater clarity about carbon, the
UK could well see the power industry commit major sums to new nuclear build.

Zdroj: NucNet

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