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New Nuclear Power

Volume 703: debated on Tuesday 16 November 2021

This Government are doubling down on our plan to deploy more home-grown, affordable clean energy in this country, and we are putting new nuclear at the heart of that plan. In the past four weeks alone, we have announced £1.7 billion allocated for a new large-scale nuclear power station, a new nuclear Bill to boost private capital and cut build costs, £210 million to back Rolls-Royce’s small modular reactor plan, and £120 million for future nuclear projects—new nuclear made and manufactured here in Britain.

I welcome my right hon. Friend’s commitment to increasing the generation of renewable energy in the UK and attracting investment in our renewable energy sector, especially the nuclear energy industry. The green industrial revolution is well under way in Peterborough. Will he join me in congratulating Peter Brotherhood, a manufacturer of 150 years standing, whose modular steam turbine offering, manufactured in the heart of my city of Peterborough, can promote further innovation in the nuclear energy sector?

A previous question referred to Teesside as the centre of the green industrial revolution, but Peterborough is also one of the great centres in this country of the green industrial revolution, and there is no better champion of that than my hon. Friend, who is right at the centre of it. He is right that the £120 million nuclear innovation fund will create options for future nuclear capability, including the recent Rolls-Royce small modular reactors, which have £210 million of funding. There are plenty of opportunities there for his constituents to get into, and I thank him for his championing of the green industrial revolution.

I welcome the Government’s commitment to a new generation of nuclear power plants, representing a big step in our move towards net zero. Fylde, as the home of Springfields, the UK’s only civil nuclear manufacturing plant, will be playing its part in this transition, but following the recent announcements of the £210 million in new Government funding for Roll-Royce SMRs, what steps is the Minister taking to ensure that the fuel for the next generation of nuclear power will be manufactured in the UK, and in Lancashire?

There is plenty of interest in Lancashire, Mr Speaker. My hon. Friend knows that I am well aware of how important Springfields is. In fact, we had meetings in the Department about it, as it is the only civil nuclear fuel manufacturing plant, as he rightly points out. It will play an important role as we further develop our new nuclear capability. I am looking forward to working very closely with my hon. Friend, who is a consistent champion of nuclear in this country.

Northern Ireland does not have any nuclear power generation possibilities, but can the Minister outline how Northern Ireland can benefit from nuclear power, because we want to have the opportunity, the same as the rest of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?

We are a Government for the whole United Kingdom. The hon. Member will know that Northern Ireland is importantly different from Great Britain in its electricity generation, grid and network. Overall, the UK’s nuclear capability will offer fantastic job opportunities—high-skill, high-tech jobs—for people from right the way across the United Kingdom, including Northern Ireland.