UK: New nuclear capacity could boost UK economy by �5bn, says IPPR report

A NEW generation of nuclear power stations could boost the UK economy by more than �5billion a year, according to new research.

Figures from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) suggest that new nuclear energy capacity in the UK could create more than 32,000 additional jobs and deliver a significant boost to the UK’s exports.

Research by IPPR suggests that, were the Government’s target for new generating capacity from non-renewable resources to met in full by nuclear power, UK GDP would benefit by up to 0.34% a year, representing an annual economic gain of �5.1billion.

New nuclear investment could result in an additional 22,000 jobs a year, together with a further 10,000 resulting from the knock-on effect on economic activity.

“Investment in nuclear energy will have benefits in contributing to both economic growth and job creation and has the potential to give Britain a greater share in the export market,” the IPPR report adds.

The research was commissioned by EDF Energy, which has plans to build new nuclear plants at Hinkley Point in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk, with a combined capacity of 6.4 gigaWatts, sufficient to power 10million homes.

Vincent de Rivaz, chief executive of EDF Energy, recently told MPs scrutinising the government’s draft Energy Bill that the company was committed to moving the project forward ahead of crucial decisions on planning consent and design approval later this year.

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Mr de Rivaz said: “A huge amount remains to be done ahead of our final investment decision at the end of this year, but we are determined to do it.”

Mark Prisk MP, Minister at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “This much-needed investment could create significant numbers of jobs for years to come as well as increase UK export potential.

“New nuclear build is an important part of the diverse energy mix we need for the UK’s low-carbon future.”