Energy security concern is building support for nuclear, but success will hinge on governments and industry, says Tim Yeo, Chairman of the New Nuclear Watch Institute.
In 2022, Europe woke up to the folly of depending on Russian gas. Supply security became the priority for most governments, followed by concern over prices. Sustainability slipped down the agenda, despite overwhelming evidence that we need to speed up CO2 emissions cuts.
The rush to end reliance on imported fossil fuels and the need for more resilient energy systems is an opportunity for nuclear power, which is the only large-scale zero-carbon generator of dispatchable baseload electricity. It thus complements intermittent renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
Nuclear fuel is readily available from geographically and politically diverse suppliers, so investing in nuclear capacity improves energy security. It also helps to accelerate the clean energy transition.