Meeting the energy challenge: a white paper on nuclear power

URN No: 08/525/A4

Energy Challenge - A White Paper on Nuclear Power cover


The White Paper set out the Government’s view that nuclear should be part of the UK’s low-carbon energy mix, that companies should have the option of building new nuclear power stations, and that the Government should take facilitative actions to enable this to happen.

Against the challenges of climate change and security of supply the Government believes that nuclear is an important part of our energy policy, alongside reducing our energy use, increasing renewables, and investing in new technologies.

The White Paper followed The Future of Nuclear Power: the role of nuclear power in a low carbon UK economy a public consultation on the future of nuclear power in the UK.

You can read the responses to the consultation by visiting the The Future of Nuclear Power consultation website.

Meeting the energy challenge: a white paper on nuclear power - full version

Meeting the energy challenge: a white paper on nuclear power - in sections

Meeting the energy challenge: a white paper on nuclear power - Welsh language version of the forewords and executive summary


Analysis of Consultation Responses

Full document

In sections

Other information

Facilitative actions

The facilitative actions set out in the White Paper are intended to enable companies to:

  • Make planning applications from 2010
  • Begin building new nuclear power stations from 2013 – 2014
  • Bring them into operation from 2017 – 2020

A chart from the White Paper showing the timetable is available on page 136 of the white paper.

The Stone Report

Following the publication of the Nuclear White Paper 2008 Dr Tim Stone was commissioned to carry out a review of the nuclear regulatory regime in order to enhance further its transparency and efficiency in meeting the challenges posed by new nuclear power stations.

Dr Stone agrees with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s conclusion that the UK’s nuclear regulatory arrangements are mature and transparent, with highly trained and experienced inspectors. However, in the context of a rapidly changing nuclear environment, Dr Stone’s review involved a comprehensive assessment of the nuclear regulators’ immediate and longer-term needs. He recommends that, in the short-term, the NII should have access to greater resources so that it can recruit effectively in order to meet the short-term challenges of new build, such as Generic Design Assessment, alongside the work on existing installations. Dr Stone recommends that, in the medium term, the NII and the wider Nuclear Directorate of the HSE be structured to give it greater financial and organisational flexibility so that it can remain a world-class regulator.

The Summary Recommendations of his review are available below:

The Government has responded to the recommendations of Dr Stone's review, and this is available below: