BRITAIN NUCLEAR PLANT
Nuclear power generates around a sixth of the U.K’s electricity, using 16 operational nuclear reactors (AGR), one pressurized water reactor (PWR) and one Magnox as well as a nuclear reprocessing plant at Sellafield.
In U.K, the first commercial nuclear power reactor began operating in 1956 and at the peat in 1997, 26% of the nation’s electricity was generated from nuclear power. Since then many reactors have closed down, the remaining, Magnox plant will close down in 2014. The older AGR reactors have been life-extended, and further life extensions across the AGR fleet are likely.
In October 2010, the British government permitted private suppliers to construct up to 8 new nuclear power plants. However, the Scottish government stated that no new nuclear power stations will be constructed in Scotland.
The U.K Atomic Energy Authority was established in 1954 as a statutory corporation to oversee and pioneer the development of nuclear energy. Following the 2011 Fukushima I nuclear accidents, Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate change wrote to Dr. Mike Weightman asking for a report on implications of the situation and lessons to be learnt for the U.K nuclear industry.
The nuclear industry has led to the development of other industries linked to it. Its survival however in the next 5 years is not assured according to critics. That being besides the point, it has still provided employment to a vast population and will continue to do so as long as it exists.