THE Government needs to act now and make sure Hartlepool gets a new nuclear power station soon, campaigners have said.
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East has called for action with its regional director Penny Marshall claiming: “We are facing crunch point.”
She said: “The nuclear power station at Hartlepool more or less powers the whole of the North-East and we are very reliant on that. We are facing crunch point in terms of our reliance for energy supply. If we don’t do something really soon, we shall be in a position where the lights go out.”
The Hartlepool Mail reported in May how power station bosses were putting together a £60m strategy to extend the life of Hartlepool’s nuclear plant. If it is granted, it would keep running until 2024.
Hartlepool is also on a list of sites where a new power station could be built, but the framework for now is for owners EDF Energy to first build the Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset – a £15billion scheme.
Hartlepool is one of a number of sites on a standby list where approval has been granted for new build.
She added: “The Government needs to make a very clear policy decision and it seems to me that they are sitting on the fence.”
Penny urged the Government to come up with incentives to encourage EDF to build more power stations in the shorter term.
A spokesperson for the Department of Energy & Climate Change said: “The Government is continuing to encourage investment in nuclear power, and there are currently plans to develop around five new nuclear sites across the UK. Since 2010, we have attracted around £45billion investment in the UK’s energy infrastructure.”
“Through our Electricity Market Reform programme, the Government is ensuring we have sufficient electricity from all sources to meet the UK’s energy demands, keeping the lights on and businesses moving.”