Small Modular Reactors

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:08 pm on 20th February 2019.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 5:08 pm, 20th February 2019

I will not give way, because the other Front Benchers have to get in and I have to restrict my comments.

The first SMR is not due for 10 years. The costs are uncertain. There will probably be limited access to sites, planning delays and rising costs. The UK Government have pursued costly, dangerous nuclear energy over cheap renewables out of misplaced ideology. We have heard about the delays at Wylfa and the collapse of Woodside. That is the pursuit of ideology over pragmatism, and it does not work. The Government are letting people down.

The UK Government are already spending vast amounts on nuclear schemes about which there are safety concerns. They were about to lend £15 billion to Hitachi in Wales for Wylfa before the project collapsed because even that was not enough money. At Hinkley Point C, there is a £30 billion cost to the public sector. The Minister will argue that that is not the case, but the strike price amounts to what the public will be paying over that period to cover the cost of delays, complications, overspends and up-front costs. That is from the National Audit Office, not from me.