The Nuclear Industry Association has welcomed comments made by Prime Minister David Cameron that he supports nuclear power in the UK’s future energy supply.
The NIA, which represents 250 companies including the operators and vendors of nuclear power stations, said its sympathies are with the Japanese people at this time.
However it urged commentators to “remember that nuclear is vital to secure the UK’s long-term environmental and security of supply needs into the future”.
The statement continued: “It is too soon to make snap judgements - we simply do not have all of the facts at the moment. However, the UK nuclear industry is determined to learn lessons from this event as safety is of paramount concern and an absolute priority for our industry. We cannot and will not be complacent.”
Energy secretary Chris Huhne chaired a meeting of the Nuclear Development Forum today at which chief nuclear inspector Dr Mike Weightman, who is reviewing the safety of UK plants, was in attendance.
At the forum meeting, Mr Huhne told nuclear industry members that the government would consider the Nuclear National Policy Statement in light of the emerging nuclear crisis in Japan before proceeding with the ratification process.
Following the meeting, Mr Huhne said: “Safety is and will continue to be the number one priority for existing nuclear sites and for any new power stations. I want to ensure that any lessons learned from Mike Weightman’s report are applied to the UK’s new build programme.”
Mr Weightman said: “This is a difficult time for Japan and we are ready to provide support as necessary. We must establish the facts on these unprecedented events and determine if there are lessons to be learned for the UK, to add to our very robust safety standards and arrangements.
“My report will be public, independent, evidence based, comprehensive, wide in scope and based on the best technical advice, consulting nationally and internationally with colleagues and organisations who, like us, have the safety and security of people and society uppermost in our minds.”