Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the UK will build one new nuclear plant a year

Environment

As Europe looks to move away from dependence on Russian energy, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said nuclear power needs to play a larger role.

Johnson visited England’s Hartlepool nuclear power station Monday, saying that nuclear power is “absolutely crucial to weaning us off fossil fuels, including Russian oil and gas.”

“Instead of a new one every decade, we’re going to build one every year, powering homes with clean, safe and reliable energy,” Johnson said in a tweet.

It’s not the first time the Prime Minister has touted the advantages of nuclear power. In April he said “nuclear is a reliable, safe and constant source of clean energy.”

Nuclear supplied around 21% of the U.K.’s energy during 2020, up from 9.4% in 2000.

The government has outlined a plan to grow the country’s nuclear power generation to 24 gigawatts by 2050, which would provide about 25% of electricity demand.

Nuclear energy has always been polarizing, and the U.K.’s decision to double down marks a shift from other countries. Germany, for example, has announced plans to build new liquefied natural gas terminals rather than bringing nuclear reactors back online.

France, on the other hand, has long supported nuclear power, relying on nuclear for about 70% of its electricity.

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