FT Letter: 3 June 2020

Choosing nuclear narrows future energy choices


Sir: The case Jonathan Ford makes for borrowing at the lowest cost could apply to any capital project including new nuclear (“Britain needs new nuclear, and the government should fund it” June 1).

But he doesn’t explain why he thinks EDF can deliver Sizewell C on time and budget when two of their other pressurised water reactor EPR projects are over a decade late and Hinkley’s costs are rising?

There are serious questions about nuclear’s role in net zero.

Lord Deben, chairman of the UK’s independent committee on climate change, describes it as a “transitional” power source, saying: “If we get better at balancing the grid and the amount of baseload energy, the need becomes smaller.”

There is wide agreement with Mr Ford that new nuclear takes a long time to build and costs are too high, but the National Infrastructure Commission draws a different conclusion: “Making decisions now, such as committing to a fleet of nuclear power plants, rules out a more diverse future generation mix and the potential this has to reduce costs to consumers.” We concur.

Dr Andy Wood,
Adnams plc, Southwold, Suffolk, UK
William Kendall
Entrepreneur, Kelsale, Suffolk, UK