Britain says it is preparing to fast track changes to its planning regulations to build a new generation of nuclear power plants.
The government wants to cut building times and avoid the six-year battle it had to get the Sizewell B reactor approved. Addressing Parliament, Energy Secretary Ed Miliband said the UK had to embrace atomic energy. “New nuclear is right for energy security and climate change and will be good for jobs too, creating up to 9,000 jobs to build and operate power stations at each site and helping leading companies access the international market.” The government has approved 10 new sites with most of Britain’s current reactors due to shut by 2025. Ministers fear any further delay could lead to energy shortages and hopes a shake-up of the planning rules will enable the next generation of plants to be up and running by as early as 2017. But, many in the UK remain opposed to the nuclear option, particularly environmental groups which are calling for greener options. The opposition Conservatives have warned any change in the planning system could result in people not being consulted.