16 May 2006 – French nuclear company Areva has told the British government that a new nuclear power plant programme could be built without any public money.
In a document submitted to the UK Department of Trade and Industry’s energy review, Areva states that what is needed from the government is a reform of the planning and regulatory system to reduce delays and streamline the licensing of new nuclear plants.
Areva uses data from a Royal Academy of Engineering study that estimated that new nuclear capacity would be comparable in cost with combined cycle gas fired stations.
The company also recommends the introduction of a carbon pricing scheme to encourage investment in nuclear generation over the development of coal and gas projects.
According to Areva’s submission, other matters including the existing nuclear waste management policy and further development of the high voltage electricity grid will also have to be clarified if private investors are to be expected to put their money where their mouth is.