- Fission vs Fusion - infographic
- Radioactivity - infographic 1 and infographic 2
- The electricity generation process - infographic
- Managing nuclear waste - storage infographic and GDF infographic
- Nuclear and the energy mix - factsheet
- Other applications of nuclear
Current nuclear power generation - quick facts
- There are eight nuclear power stations in the UK, operated by EDF.
- The UK generates about 20% of its electricity from nuclear, but almost half of current capacity is to be retired by 2025. (WNA, Nov 2021)
- Every current nuclear power station, except Sizewell B in Suffolk, will stop generating by 2030.
- The UK was the first country in the world to build a commercial nuclear power station in the 1950s.
- The total nuclear energy generation in the UK has provided enough low-carbon electricity for every home for 28 years.
Future nuclear power generation
- Hinkley Point C in Somerset is under construction, and will power over 6 million homes
- Sizewell C in Suffolk is planned as a replica of Hinkley C, powering another 6 million homes. Should get financing and approval by 2024.
- There are also plans for new reactors at Bradwell – less advanced timeline than Hinkley or Sizewell.
- The UK is aiming to be the first country in the world to build a commercial fusion power plant, by 2040.
- A site in the country will be picked by the end of 2022 to build this plant – there are five places in contention through the STEP process.
- A by-product of fusion is Hydrogen, which can be used as a clean fuel for e.g. vehicles.
- Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) website: https://step.ukaea.uk/
Small and Advanced Modular Reactors
- Small Modular Reactors: smaller reactors that can be built in a factory/off-site then assembled quickly on site, as opposed to built entirely on site. Rolls-Royce leading consortium to build a fleet, potentially connecting to the grid by 2030.
- Advanced Modular Reactors: next generation reactors e.g. lead-cooled, molten salt
- These smaller reactors could be used to power individual factories, business parks, towns, cities etc.
UK Energy mix
- Nuclear power provides approximately 12-20% of the UK’s electricity at any time.
- Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are intermittent and output can fluctuate; nuclear is able to generate close or at capacity 24/7 regardless of weather conditions.
- EU countries such as France and the Netherlands are responsible for fulfilling around 10% of the UK’s electricity demand through interconnectors (these countries have excess nuclear and wind capacity, respectively).