Vote is major milestone for EDF Energy

National Policy Statements confirm “It is Government policy that new nuclear power should be able to contribute as much as possible to the UK’s need for new capacity.”

Parliamentary vote follows decision to reform UK electricity market in favour of low carbon generation.
The UK Parliament’s ratification of the National Policy Statements for Energy is the second major milestone on the road to new nuclear power in a week.
Members of Parliament voted clearly in favour to formally ratify the National Policy Statement for Nuclear, alongside the other energy statements.
The statements also confirm the sites where stations could be built. The list includes both of EDF Energy’s preferred sites, at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk.
The vote reflects the broad political and public support for nuclear power in the UK. This support has been maintained since the events at Fukushima in Japan, reflecting the robust safety standards that already existed and the UK’s commitment to implement lessons from Fukushima.
The Chief Nuclear Inspector’s interim report into implications of Fukushima found that the UK nuclear industry had reacted “responsibly and appropriately”, “displaying a leadership for safety and a strong safety culture”. It concluded there was no reason for curtailing the operation of existing plants, nor to change the current siting strategy for new nuclear.
The vote follows publication of the White Paper on Electricity Market Reform on July 12, which outlined four measures the UK Government would put in place to incentivise investment in low carbon electricity generation, including nuclear.
EDF Group Chairman and Chief Executive Henri Proglio said:
“The UK Parliament’s vote in favour of nuclear is an essential step for EDF Group and its new nuclear projects.
“Alongside its partner Centrica, EDF is therefore in a position to move forward its project to build new nuclear power stations, which will contribute to making the Group
a reference point for electricity in tomorrow’s world and a leader in de-carbonised energy.”
EDF Energy Chief Executive Vincent de Rivaz said:
“Parliament’s vote for nuclear reflects the significant momentum and broad support among politicians, customers, industry and public.
“The decision is particularly welcome coming less than one week after the Government delivered the market reforms to encourage investment in low carbon generation.
“The reforms will transform the market and ensure customers will benefit from stability, security, affordability and predictability. They provide investors with the right incentives.
“All of this has been made possible because of the robust safety standards that already exist in the UK nuclear industry and the commitment to implement lessons from Fukushima so that UK nuclear will be stronger, safer and able to continue to play its vital role providing secure, affordable, low carbon energy.”
As well as the important political dimensions of last night’s vote, the National Policy Statements have an important legal role in the consenting processes for new nuclear, both nationally and locally.
The statements provide the bodies involved with a clear legal and political basis to develop nuclear as part of the transition to a low carbon energy system.
EDF Energy’s new nuclear project is making strong progress, including working with the community on the consent process, completing the reactor licensing, working with the supply chain on the business opportunities and liaising with schools and universities on the jobs it will create.
Last week the safety and environmental regulators completed their initial assessment of the EPR reactor design. They said the EPR is capable of being acceptable in the UK and that they were confident credible plans to resolve the final outstanding issues could be delivered.

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