Responding to Sir Keir Starmer’s pledge that a Labour Government would build more nuclear power stations, Sam Richards, founder and campaign director of pro-growth campaign group Britain Remade, said:
“If Britain is going to be energy secure by 2030 safe, reliable, and low-carbon nuclear energy will be essential for providing baseload energy for a majority renewable grid.
“But from offshore wind to new nuclear the planning system is holding back the building of much needed secure domestic sources of energy.
“Our outdated planning system meant the 2011 application for Hinkley Point C contained over 1,000 documents, including an environmental impact assessment that stretched to 28,000 pages. In 2020 the environmental statement for the Sizewell C application ballooned to over 40,000 pages.
“While the delivery of new large-scale reactor’s like Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C are important, we cannot allow the planning system to slow down the rolling out of a fleet of state-of-the-art small modular nuclear reactors across the country.
“These factory built mass-produced mini reactors can be constructed at a range of industrial sites such as former coal powered power stations, as well as existing licenced nuclear sites.
“We will only benefit from these game-changing reactors if Great British Nuclear prioritise drawing up the list of sites where they can be built, alongside any negotiations with the Treasury over funding.
“By building domestic clean energy sources Britain can be a clean energy superpower and with it reap the benefit of thousands of jobs across the country. But this will only be achieved by addressing our flawed planning system head-on.”