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May 23, 2007

UK plans ten new nuclear reactors

The United Kingdom turns around from plan to phase out nuclear power and will build ten new generation reactors for a cost of £1.2 billion ($2.4 bn) each.

Electricity grid connections make Hinkley Point and Sizewell the two sites best suited to accommodate either a 1600-megawatt single reactor, or a 3200-MW twin-reactor station. Seven other coastal sites are also given the green light for single reactors: Bradwell, Dungeness, Hartlepool and Heysham in England, Hunterston and Torness in Scotland, and Wylfa in Wales.

Previous projections in May for 266 reactors does not include any in the UK and counts at least ten fewer plants than India plans to build by 2020 It seems that about 50 new reactors are being planned every 3 months in 2007. It will be interesting to see how the numbers actually work out for projects to be built and completed by 2020 and 2030. I think a doubling of the current 437 reactors by 2020 is possible.

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