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UK relies on nuclear power to avoid Russian fuel – POLITICO

LONDON – The UK government has pledged to put new nuclear power at the heart of its plan to move Britain away from imported fossil fuels.

In a fresh energy strategy, ministers have pledged to deliver the equivalent of a nuclear reactor every year instead of one every decade, while giving a big boost to renewable energy programmes.

But oil and gas exploration in the North Sea is being expanded in the near term, while the government has also signaled a renewed openness to fracking for shale gas.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was drafting a plan to “expand and accelerate affordable, clean and secure energy, made in Britain, for Britain”.

But Shadow Business Secretary Ed Miliband said the plan “failed to give the sprint we needed for onshore wind and solar” and would burden households with skyrocketing bills.

The UK, among other nations, is facing a severe cost of living crisis due to rising fuel prices internationally, exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Britain has pledged to phase out oil and coal imported from Russia before the end of 2022 and is expected to do the same for Russian gas.

The new plan promises to generate 24GW of nuclear power by 2050, including via new tech mini-reactors, which is about a quarter of Britain’s electricity needs. In 2019, nuclear power provided 17 percent of the country’s electricity, according to analysis by the House of Lords. This energy comes from 13 nuclear reactors in six plants.

The Johnson administration also promises to reform planning rules to speed up offshore wind development and offer cheaper fuel bills in areas that allow local onshore wind farms.

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