New Business Secretary gives strong backing to nuclear

By Rebecca Sodeinde | Published on 7 November 2022 | 3 min read

The UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy gave his wholehearted support for nuclear during a panel discussion at the Conservative Party Conference on Tuesday.

The panel, chaired by leading British thinktank, Policy Exchange, and sponsored by Sizewell C, brought together industry representatives to discuss nuclear’s place in Britain’s present and future energy mix.

Speaking about the UK’s energy needs, the Business Secretary, the Rt Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg, said, “Nuclear power has an absolutely central role in any future strategy for energy within the United Kingdom.”

Secretary Rees-Mogg also remarked on the importance of stable, baseload power to the UK’s energy strategy, something he believes nuclear power can provide today and going forward, because of the positive track record of reliable power generation from nuclear plants in Britain since the 1950s.

“There is no way we can get to Net Zero or even have an intelligent electricity strategy without nuclear.” 
The Rt Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Business Secretary

He added that nuclear is also an excellent option for the UK because it’s a safe, well-understood form of energy that isn’t vulnerable to geopolitical events such as the present war in Ukraine. It also has predictable costs per kWh of electricity produced.

The Business Secretary expressed his enthusiasm for additional nuclear power stations to be added to the UK’s fleet saying, “There is always a place for the big nuclear power stations.” Sizewell C alone, once constructed, will provide reliable, low-carbon power to six million homes for at least 60 years.

L-R: Mark Hartley, Technical Director, Hinkley Point C; The Rt Hon. Jacob Rees-Mogg, Business Secretary; Alex Simakov, Senior Research Fellow for Energy, Policy Exchange; Julia Pyke, Director of Financing, Sizewell C; Tom Samson, CEO, Rolls-Royce SMR. 

Sizewell C Director of Financing, Julia Pyke, represented the project on the panel. She said, “We are building Sizewell because we care hugely about the environment. It’s a project for the environment but we need a better balance between being able to get on with building something which the country needs and the time it takes to get through all of the consenting to do so.”

She explained why the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) financing model reduces investment risk for shareholders and how additional nuclear will work out cheaper than other forms of electricity generation, including renewables.

She also explained how EDF, through Hinkley Point C in Somerset, and Sizewell C, are developing skills amongst the UK workforce such as high-end welding, which have up until recently been scarce; these skills will benefit future energy programmes.


Notes to editors

A recording of the panel discussion can be viewed here.

Read more about Sizewell C’s proposals including our environmental protections and how we will be funded here.

Posted by Rebecca Sodeinde

Rebecca is Sizewell C's Digital Communications Manager