Notwithstanding the global warming/climate change hysteria wrought by extremist environmental groups in the UK and throughout the European Continent, the UK Government appears to have arrived at a rationale and reasonable risk management approach to ensuring UK energy security for the foreseeable future (next 50 years).
The UK government, as stated in its January 2008 document "Meeting the energy challenge: a White Paper on nuclear power" (http://www.berr.gov.uk/energy/nuclear-whitepaper/page42765.html), "decided that the electricity industry should, from now on be allowed to build and operate new nuclear power stations, subject to meeting the normal planning and regulatory requirements."
The Labor government acclaimed nuclear technology as "a tried and tested technology" that "has provided the UK with secure supplies of safe, low-carbon electricity for half a century."
“...8. We set out the Government’s preliminary view on nuclear power in our Energy White Paper15. This explained how nuclear power related to our overall energy strategy. In particular, we highlighted the uncertainties we face in the availability and costs of the UK’s energy supplies over the coming decades. We also need to respond to the challenges of climate change. These uncertainties relate to: future fossil fuel and carbon prices; how quickly we can achieve energy efficiency savings and the therefore likely levels of energy demand; the speed, direction and future economics of development of the renewables sector; and the technical feasibility of and costs associated with applying carbon capture and storage technologies to electricity generation on a commercial scale.”
“9. It is our view that, given these uncertainties, our energy strategy should be based on diversity and flexibility in the energy mix and has accordingly developed policies which keep open the widest possible range of low-carbon generating options. These options would include renewables and the use of gas and coal with CCS, as well as nuclear. Unnecessarily ruling out one of these options would, in our view, increase the risk that we would be unable to meet our climate change and energy security objectives.”
The report concluded that rational and reasonable decisions are needed NOW because:
"...energy companies will need to build around 30-35 GW of new electricity generating capacity
over the next two decades. They will have to make around two-thirds of this investment by 2020. So investment decisions made in the next few years will affect our electricity generation infrastructure for decades to come."