The ever-thwarted ambition to revive nuclear power in the UK
Nuclear power is “coming back, even stronger”(Tony Blair, 2005).“We are relaunching our nuclear industry” (David Cameron, 2013). “We want to build one reactor a year” (Boris Johnson, 2 May). One British Prime Minister after another promises to revive the nuclear industry. The reality on the ground, however, does not change much: the current fleet is ageing, and only one plant, at Hinkley, is under construction.
The UK has always had these hesitations about nuclear power. He built the world’s first civilian power plant in 1956 and then hardly continued the effort. Today, its power plants, which were mostly installed in the 1970s and 1980s, and then bought by EDF in 2008, produce around 16% of the country’s electricity.