As set out in the Nuclear White Paper, the Government are taking active steps to establish and cement the right policy framework and create the right conditions in the UK for investment in new nuclear power stations. The Office for Nuclear Development is acting to enable investment in the UK from the earliest possible date.
The Government have set neither a target nor a cap on the amount of nuclear power that could come forward. Instead, the approach has been to remove the barriers to investment in new nuclear power, and allow energy companies to come forward with projects if they consider it in their interests to do so. The action taken by Government so far has resulted in real interest in new nuclear in the UK, with energy companies announcing plans to build up to 16 GW of new nuclear capacity.
The programme of facilitative actions set out in the White Paper should, subject to regulatory approvals, enable companies to begin operation of new nuclear power stations around 2017 or 2018.
In the latest full year for which data are available (2008) nuclear power stations provided 13 per cent. of total UK electricity generation. We have also published data up to quarter 2 2009. Quarterly data can be found in the following table. Nuclear generation was slightly lower than usual in 2008 due to maintenance.
Period Electricity generated by nuclear (percentage) Total 2008 13 Quarter 1 2008 13 Quarter 2 2008 14 Quarter 3 2008 14 Quarter 4 2008 13 Quarter 1 2009 16 Quarter 2 2009 22
Electricity generated by nuclear (percentage)
Quarter 1 2008
Quarter 2 2008
Quarter 3 2008
Quarter 4 2008
Quarter 1 2009
Quarter 2 2009