Boris Johnson tells next PM to “go nuclear and go large”

Boris Johnson has stressed nuclear power’s importance and efficiency and promised funding to build Sizewell C.

During the last major policy speech of his tenure before the next prime minister is confirmed on Monday, Johnson confirmed £700 million of funding to be put towards the Sizewell C project in Suffolk and called on his successor to “go nuclear and go large”.

Sizewell C is a proposal to build a massive nuclear power station in Suffolk. It was proposed jointly by EDF energy and China General Nuclear Power Group. These groups own 80% of the project and 20%, respectively. The construction cost is £20bn.

The outgoing PM called on the UK to “pull our national finger out” and make haste with developing nuclear power in order to gradually bring-down household bills.


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He compared Britain to France and other countries which derive about 70% of their electricity from the use of nuclear energy. Only 15% of the UK’s electricity is derived from nuclear energy.

“Why have we never got back to that kind of rhythm?” he asked.

But Andy Mayer, Energy Analyst at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, said Johnson’s speech contained “ no useful solutions”.

” He went ‘large’ on nuclear power and expressed his admiration for France, from whom we are buying four reactors at Hinkley Point and Sizewell,” said Mayer.

“But the French industry is in trouble. Half of their 20-year-old fleet is now deadTh century reactors is offline, making France reliant on imported energy from the UK”

“This is not a model to copy.”

In the speech, Johnson blamed the previous Labour government for doing “absolutely nothing.:

“For 13 years the previous Labour government did absolutely nothing to develop this country’s nuclear industry. They said it didn’t make economic sense.

“Thanks a bunch Tony. He thanked Gordon for his kindness.

Preet Kaur Gill (silent international development secretary) described this as misleading.

“Boris Johnson is again misleading the British public. Gordon Brown approved the building of 10 nuclear power plants in 2009. They were not built by the Conservatives. Integrity in politics matters!”

Johnson reiterated the longevity of the plan and claimed it wasn’t just a quick fix:

“A baby born this year will be getting energy from Sizewell C long after she retires and this new reactor is just a part of our Great British nuclear campaign.”

Andy Prendergast, GMB national secretary, said Johnson’s decision “is a belated step in the right direction – but it should have happened years ago.”

“Years of political failure to make the right decision on new nuclear means we are woefully unprepared for the energy crisis facing us today.”