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Institution responds to EdF announcement

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Dr Jenifer Baxter says Hinkley Point C does not provide the answer to the issues surrounding the management of UK power generation, the potential generation gap and the need to balance the grid.

Dr Jenifer Baxter, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said in response to the upcoming announcement by EdF about Hinkley Point C:

“Confirmation that Hinkley Point C will go ahead does not provide the UK with an answer to the management of power generation, potential generation gap and the need to balance the grid. 

“Given the UK is facing a 40-55% supply gap by 2025, the UK Government must put in place clear guidance for developing near and long term sustainable power generation that meets the needs of UK carbon targets, creates a good mix of low emission technologies and develops skills and economic growth in the sector. 

“The UK Government must now have a flexible vision of our nuclear future due to the potential opportunities that could be offered through innovation and demonstration projects. The experience of those involved in developing Hinkley Point C should be used to get the most out of other developments in the nuclear sector, such as small modular reactors.  This will build up a bank of shared experience, best practice and opportunities for learning.

“Further ahead, it is vital is for there to be more investment into the management of the whole nuclear life-cycle. We need more thorough research and development into methods for recycling and maximising the energy returns from nuclear waste ― including the growing stockpile at Sellafield.”

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