Energy giant pulls the plug on nuclear project

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) has confirmed it is looking to abandon plans to build a nuclear power plant in the UK.

A SSE spokesman confirmed it is planning on pulling out of a consortium, which includes Iberdrola and GDF Suez, by selling its 25% stake - although said it may become involved again in the future.

The energy company announced today (September 23) in official statement it intends to end its involvement in NuGeneration, a joint venture company established by the three companies to develop proposals for a new nuclear power station, saying it has always taken a "cautious approach" in regard to nuclear power.

SSE generation and supply director, Alistair Phillips- Davies, said it instead plans to focus on renewable energy such as gas-fired generation, carbon capture and storage options, which the company has more expertise in.

He said: "The UK will need both nuclear and renewable energy in the future, but we have made it clear from the start of our involvement in NuGen that for SSE our core investment in generation should be in renewable energy.

"At the same time, it made sense to be part of NuGen to help establish whether some participation in new nuclear power stations would be the right thing for SSE, given we have no experience of ownership or operations in the nuclear sector."

Despite its withdrawal from the project, SSE said it continues to believe nuclear power is a tried and tested way of generating electricity that is consistent with energy security and decarbonisation objectives", adding that it may become involved again at a future date, either as an "investor or as a purchaser of electricity".

Meanwhile, WWF Scotland's head of policy, Dr Dan Barlow, welcomed the moved saying there are better alternatives to nuclear power which he hoped the remaining companies would consider.

He said: "Pursuing a 100% renewable future is the correct path to take and we'd encourage the companies left in the consortium, including Scottish Power's owners Iberdrola, to also consider abandoning its nuclear ambitions."

Carys Matthews


| Scotland | nuclear | renewables


Energy efficiency & low-carbon
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