That the new Government under Theresa May has brought new Ministers to energy was expected by most but the abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was not. However, one has to remember that the department was a creation of the Gordon Brown government and kept on under the coalition as the impact of energy on climate change was critically important for the Lib Dems. Many on the Conservative side have been sceptical a) about a need for a separate energy department and b) about the need for climate change to be a critical factor in determining policy.
It is of course far too early to say what any of this means for energy policy let alone nuclear specifically. We know that Greg Clark will be the Secretary of State of the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and he has some background in the subject having been Shadow Secretary of State for DECC when in opposition at which time he was very supportive of the nuclear industry. We do not though know the identity (or indeed numbers of ministers in the department) or have a full list of departmental responsibilities.
We will get this detail over the next few weeks. We will also discover any organisational and staff changes that effect who is working on nuclear issues and where it fits into the organisation of energy policy. This will give us more firm information but certainly no ministerial statement so far gives any indication of a radical shift in policy.