11 January 2024
Clifton-Brown welcomes civil nuclear power road map

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown  welcomes the civil nuclear power road map, but calls on the Government to learn lessons from the decommissioning of Sellafield to get a better understanding of nuclear decommissioning costs, so that we can have a true estimate of what nuclear generation costs.

He said:

“Nuclear power will continue to remain a vital part of our low carbon-energy mix for decades to come and therefore this is an extremely significant announcement. However, it is important to get a proper handle of nuclear power, including the decommissioning costs.”

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds) (Con)

I warmly welcome my hon. Friend’s announcement today, because when the advanced gas-cooled reactors are decommissioned by 2030, we will have a dip in nuclear production. The Public Accounts Committee, of which I have the honour to be deputy chair, has done a lot of work on this. We recently had a follow-up visit to Sellafield. I agree with my hon. Friend that they do fantastic work there, but it is our largest single project, with a minimum cost of £200 billion over the next 100 years. Will he undertake to renew our efforts to get a better handle on the decommissioning costs, so that they can be properly allocated and we can have a true estimate of what nuclear generation costs?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero (Andrew Bowie)

I agree with my hon. Friend on the amazing work being conducted at Sellafield in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Copeland (Trudy Harrison). The lessons being learned through the decommissioning process at Sellafield will yield benefits. We are leading the way across the world on the decommissioning of sites and are very happy to be advising other countries on their decommissioning efforts. We need to ensure that any projects run by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are proved to be value for money, and that we learn from the lessons of the past.