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Ten nuclear power stations are to be built in Britain at a cost of up to £50 billion as the Government tries to prevent the threat of regular power cuts by the middle of the coming decade.
The announcement comes after a radical shake-up in planning laws. Under powers awarded to the Government last month, local authorities have been stripped of the right of veto over new nuclear plants and other key energy projects. Decisions will instead be taken by the Infrastructure Planning Commission, which was created to slash the period required to secure consent for energy projects from seven years to one year.
Mr Miliband said: “The current planning system is a barrier to this shift. It serves neither the interests of energy security, the interests of the low-carbon transition, nor the interests of people living in areas where infrastructure may be built.”
The reactors should meet at least a quarter of electricity demand by 2025. “New nuclear is right for energy security and climate change and will be good for jobs too,” Mr Miliband said.
Each new reactor will generate up to 1.6 gigawatts — enough to power a city the size of Manchester — and should last for 60 years.
The first is likely to be built by EDF Energy at Hinkley Point, Somerset, and should come into service by the end of 2017. New reactors at Sizewell, Suffolk, Wylfa, Anglesey, and Oldbury, Gloucestershire, are also likely to be among the first wave. Hartlepool, Co Durham, Bradwell, Essex, Heysham, Lancashire and three sites near Sellafield, West Cumbria, were also named.
when international regulators are saying there are huge uncertainties surrounding the basic safety of new reactor designs,”