Nuclear academics open letter to Sunday Telegraph April 2013

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In April 2013 a group of leading academics signed a Letter to the Editor of the Sunday Telegraph calling for the UK Government to move forward on its plans for a new generation of nuclear plants. They expressed concern that negotiations over Hinkley Point C were moving to slowly.

The Letter

The Government should not delay on its nuclear power plans

Sunday Telegraph - 21st April 2013

SIR – At the end of last month, the then Government Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor Sir John Beddington, set out a long-term vision for the critical role of nuclear energy in Britain’s future low-carbon energy mix.

The Government also published its nuclear industrial strategy, aiming to expand Britain’s contribution to its domestic nuclear programmes, enhance international business, drive innovation through research and development and develop nuclear skills.

At around the same time Ed Davey granted planning consent for Hinkley Point C, marking a significant step towards realising a new nuclear programme in Britain.

Nuclear energy brings significant public health and environmental benefits. Hinkley Point C alone will save more than 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year if replacing gas.

Building a fleet of new nuclear power stations rather than one reactor at a time will lead to considerable economies of scale and lower costs for consumers. It will also provide the reliable, secure, low-carbon energy urgently needed in this country.

However, we are becoming increasingly concerned at the apparent slow progress of negotiations between the Government and EDF Energy for Hinkley Point C, and we fear this aspiration could be undermined if a deal on the pioneer project is not resolved satisfactorily.


Professor Sir David King Former Chief Scientific Adviser to HM Government

Professor Dame Sue Ion Independent Consultant

Dr Malcolm Grimston Honorary Senior Research Fellow, ICEPT Imperial College

Professor Simon Biggs FREng Professor of Particle Science & Engineering University of Leeds

Professor Jon Billowes Professor of Nuclear Physics The University of Manchester

Professor Colin Boxall The Lloyd's Register Foundation Chair in Nuclear Engineering and Decommissioning Lancaster University

Professor David Cope University of Cambridge

Professor Michael Fitzpatrick Lloyd's Register Foundation Chair in Materials Fabrication and Engineering The Open University

Professor Martin Freer Director, Birmingham Centre for Nuclear Education and Research University of Birmingham

Professor Chris Grovenor Co-Director, Bristol/Oxford Nuclear Research Centre University of Oxford

Professor Neil Hyatt Professor of Radioactive Waste Management The University of Sheffield

Professor Malcolm Joyce Head of Engineering Department Lancaster University

Professor Bill Lee FREng Director of Centre for Nuclear Engineering Imperial College London

Professor Francis Livens Professor of Radiochemistry The University of Manchester

Professor David M G Newbery Emeritus Professor of Economics University of Cambridge

Dr Geoff Parks Cambridge Nuclear Energy Centre University of Cambridge

Professor Patrick H Regan Department of Physics University of Surrey

Professor Gerry Thomas Chair in Molecular Pathology Imperial College London