UK could massively scale up nuclear power capacity by 2050

Credit: PA

The UK could massively scale up its nuclear power capability by 2050 – with new stations having far greater capacity, it is understood.

The Business Secretary has suggested six or seven new sites could be in operation by that point, with all but one of Britain’s existing plants set to be decommissioned by 2030.

The PA news agency understands that – while the number of stations is likely to remain similar to now – the plan is for each new site to be far more powerful than those they will replace, significantly pushing up the UK’s capacity.

Kwasi Kwarteng said the strategy is more of a medium-term answer Credit: James Manning/PA

The Sunday Telegraph reported that Boris Johnson is preparing to announce plans to expand the government’s commitment to move forward with new large-scale nuclear power stations this decade.

The newspaper said the plan had been to back one by 2024, but it is thought the new ambition will be to support the construction of two by 2030.

The move to scale up nuclear power production will reportedly form part of a major expansion of homegrown energy in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.


What you need to know - Listen to our news and analysis podcast


It comes as the government’s energy security strategy is expected to be unveiled on Thursday.

Asked about the scale of the its nuclear ambitions, Mr Kwarteng told The Sunday Telegraph: “There is a realisation across government that we could do more on nuclear.

“With energy, you’re thinking maybe 30, even 40 years [ahead]. If we fast forward to 2050, there is a world where we have six or seven sites in the UK. That isn’t going to happen in the next two years, but it’s definitely something that we can aspire to.

“The Prime Minister said, in terms of the energy generation mix, we could see maybe a quarter of that being nuclear. I’d say 15 to 25 per cent. But obviously in the first three years you’re not going to suddenly have six new nuclear stations in three years. It’s physically impossible to do that.”