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Brexit officially took place at the beginning of 2020, on January 31st. A few months ago, the reality of both the economies in the United Kingdom and the European Union changed due to the COVID pandemic first and the Russian invasion of Ukraine later. Those issues had a huge impact, in particular on energy, leading the authorities in Brussels and London to focus on new programs.
The EU launched the European Green Deal and then worked, both on the general level and at the States’ level, to find solutions to the dangerous dependence on Russia’s supplies of oil and gas. On its part, the British government decided to drive a rapid expansion of nuclear power “at an unprecedented scale and pace” as one of the main tools for the energy reform of the UK. The program, called “Great British Nuclear,” should drive the rapid expansion of nuclear power. The government kickstarts competition for game-changing small modular reactor (SMR) technology, which could result in billions of pounds of public and private sector investment in SMR projects, according to the UK authorities. The British government plans to boost energy security, create cheaper power, and grow the economy, creating better-paid jobs and opportunities right across the United Kingdom, as stated on the website Gov.uk.
The Great British Nuclear should play a key role in helping the government provide up to a quarter of the UK’s electricity from homegrown nuclear energy by 2050. The United Kingdom remains committed to the nuclear projects of Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C, while considering “the potential role of further large gigawatt-scale nuclear power plants” in the country. In the meantime, the EU is still trying to balance the position of its different member states over nuclear energy, with France being the strongest supporter of this kind of source and pushing for labeling nuclear power as a strategic technology for the future green transition in Europe.
Written by: Francesco Marino