Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman, but I note his interest and his experience in this field. National Grid is undertaking a substantial programme of transformation to make the grid smarter and able to accommodate intermittent renewables. Again, progress has been made. The amount of renewable energy being deployed is vastly in excess of what the right hon. Member for Kingston and...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: My right hon. Friend is right that small modular reactors have significant potential. The nuclear sector deal that we agreed with the sector and published last year contains a substantial commitment to small modular reactors, many of which would be deployable on the sites of existing and recently decommissioned nuclear reactors. However, even large new nuclear reactors can make a useful...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: As I said to the hon. Member for Southampton, Test, I recognise that this is a sad time for the staff, who are expert and well respected in their fields. This is a financing decision, and it is no reflection on the quality of their work. They are of the highest calibre. Of course I will come to meet my hon. Friend and his constituents to discuss how we can make sure that his part of the...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: Given the hon. Gentleman’s suggestion that the strike price for Hinkley Point C was excessive, I would have thought he would welcome and approve of my statement, which sets a limit on what it is possible to provide to finance a private investment. He asks when the decision was made by Hitachi. My understanding is that it was made in Japan at 9 o’clock this morning, and I hope he would...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: I will respond to the hon. Gentleman’s points, but I will start by saying one thing about nuclear investment. I have been clear in maintaining my support and that of the Government for new nuclear, but, for investments of over 60 years, that requires a degree of cross-party support for those commercial investments, which, as we have seen, are difficult to secure. The hon. Gentleman...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: I pay tribute to the role that my right hon. Friend played in the earlier stages of the discussions for the Wylfa site. As is evident, such matters are complex and difficult to secure, but he laid the groundwork for some of the progress that has been made, and I hope that the process might ultimately be successful. Of course, I have complete commitment to the north Wales growth deal, and I...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: My hon. Friend is quite right, and he has great experience and expertise in energy matters. We have talked a bit about offshore wind today, but one of the big changes that is taking place in the energy market, and affecting the economics of energy, is in the technologies and ways of working such as demand-side response and storage. We have not mentioned those, but they are contributing to how...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: I repeat my commendation of the hon. Gentleman. He has been a consistent and passionate campaigner not only for the interests of his constituents but for the excellence of the industry in north Wales, and in Anglesey in particular. I can give him that wholehearted commitment. My officials will certainly meet him, but they will also come with me and my nuclear Minister and we will work...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for such a constructive contribution. He raises an excellent point, and I would be happy to meet him and EDF to solve that problem, of which I was not aware. It seems to me that if we are to benefit from the opportunities that exist across the UK to develop skilled work and make it available to residents of all parts of the UK, we should not put obstacles...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: As my right hon. Friend knows, CGN is an investor in the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, which is being built as we speak. That is proceeding at pace. When it comes to Bradwell, CGN is again making successful strides through the approval process. All investment is subject to that process, but I can confirm that it has our full support as it goes through the regulatory approvals.

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: Sadly, when the Prime Minister was meeting the Prime Minister of Japan, I was in this Chamber winding up the debate on the meaningful vote. I would otherwise have been in their company, but I was doing my duties in this House. I was not at the meeting, but I can put the hon. Gentleman’s mind at rest. The involvement of the Prime Minister in this and other joint investments with Japan has...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: The Prime Minister has repeatedly discussed nuclear investment with the Prime Minister of Japan, as have I with my opposite number there. In fact, in November, I flew to Tokyo to discuss the negotiations going on here, given the difficulties that the investor was having, and I met my opposite number at the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. This has been a substantial, and...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: The hon. Gentleman is quite right. I visited the nuclear advanced manufacturing research centre, as he knows, and I was impressed with the facilities. The sector deal makes a commitment to new nuclear technologies, and a consortium has made an application to the industrial strategy challenge fund. He understands that the operation of that fund, as with all science and innovation investments,...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: That is demonstrated in my statement today. We were talking about a strike price substantially less than that of Hinkley, and I said when I made my statement to the House on Hinkley that we would do that. I say gently to my hon. Friend, who is a lifelong environmentalist, that exactly the same arguments were advanced against the initial contracts for offshore wind—namely, that they would be...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: The model we have pursued is one in which these proposals are private sector-led. I place on record my respect and gratitude for the time, effort and financial investment that Hitachi has made in working with us to develop the proposal to this stage. Of course there have been discussions with my officials, but the vast majority of the costs have been with the proposed developer.

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: I am disappointed in the right hon. Gentleman who, as a former Secretary of State, I would have thought knows the changing economics of the energy market, which I set out pretty clearly. I gently remind him that, as Secretary of State, he was responsible in his time for the negotiation of the terms of the Hinkley Point C agreement, so it is surprising to hear him being so critical of it. The...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: I would be delighted to do that. The Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, my hon. Friend the Member for Watford (Richard Harrington), who is responsible for the nuclear industry, and I regularly meet the representatives of the industry, including the supply chain. I emphasise that it was Hitachi’s decision to suspend the development of the project but, as...

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: I can confirm that to my hon. Friend.

Nuclear Update (17 Jan 2019)
Greg Clark: With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement following Hitachi’s announcement this morning that it intends to suspend development of the proposed Wylfa nuclear power project, as well as work relating to Oldbury. The economics of the energy market have changed significantly in recent years. The cost of renewable technologies such as offshore wind has fallen dramatically, to...


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30 NOV 2018

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