Letter about nuclear subsidies and Energy Bill

Delivered to Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change; George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury; David Cameron, Prime Minister; and Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister:


Kick Nuclear

c/o 5 Caledonian Road


N1 9DX


kicknuclear [at] kicknuclear.org




Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Dear Sir,


The UK Government has proposed to introduce a series of measures within the new Energy Bill that would offer eye-watering payments to the nuclear industry, whose costs are already spiralling out of control.


Under the existing proposals, nuclear power will benefit from an estimated £3.5 billion in windfall payments for existing nuclear power stations, and as much as £40 billion over 30 years for each new nuclear reactor that is built. These subsidies would have to be paid for through energy bill hikes and/or further taxpayer subsidies.


We are opposed to any new nuclear power stations, not least because of the many safety issues involved and the unresolved waste issue. If a serious accident occurs, as at Fukushima, it could not only bankrupt the operators but seriously damage the country’s economy, just as is happening in Japan.


Existing nuclear reactors have already been massively subsidised by, for example, funding the cost of reactor decommissioning and long-term radioactive waste management, and new reactors will continue to benefit from limits to operator liability in the event of a serious accident.


In addition, new nuclear now appears to be the most expensive of the proposed energy technologies, taking into account all associated costs. [1] What is more, while the costs of emerging renewable energy technologies are expected to fall markedly over time, this is not anticipated in the case of nuclear, whose costs have shown little sign of decreasing in the six decades since its inception.


The government has promised not to repeat the terrible mistakes of the past by subsidising nuclear power: it must stick to this pledge. We ask that all financial support for nuclear power in the Energy Bill be abandoned, and instead that proper financial support be provided to facilitate a rapid transition to a sustainable energy system, based on investment in energy saving measures such as domestic insulation, energy storage, and renewable and decentralised energy, with a particular emphasis on encouraging the growth of community energy projects.


Yours sincerely,


Daniel Viesnik, Kick Nuclear

Rt Hon John Leech MP (Manchester Withington)

Rt Hon Caroline Lucas MP (Brighton Pavillion)

Rt Hon Tessa Munt MP (Wells)

Cllr Brian Goodall, Chair, Nuclear-Free Local Authorities

Dr Paul Dorfman, Founder, Nuclear Consulting Group, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust Nuclear Policy Research Fellow, and Former Secretary to Committee Examining Radiation Risks from Internal Emitters

Dr Gerry Wolff PhD CEng, Coordinator, Energy Fair

Pete Roche, No 2 Nuclear Power

Jill Gough, National Secretary, CND Cymru

Phil Steele, Pobl Atal Wylfa B / People Against Wylfa B

Reg Illingworth, Shepperdine Against Nuclear Energy

Suki Lilienthal, Stop Hinkley

Nikki Clark, South West Against Nuclear

David Polden, London Region CND

Neil Crumpton, Planet Hydrogen


 1.  http://www.energyfair.org.uk/oppcost