COPELAND MP Trudy Harrison has welcomed progress towards the introduction of a new financing model for new large-scale nuclear power projects.

The Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill, proposed by Greg Hands, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, had its second reading in Parliament on Wednesday.

The Bill will facilitate investment in new nuclear using the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model, in which consumers will contribute to the cost of new nuclear power projects during the construction phase. This will encourage a greater diversity of private investment and, ultimately, lower the cost of financing new nuclear and reducing the cost to consumers.

Under the current setup to support new nuclear projects, developers have to finance the construction and only begin receiving revenue when electricity-generation begins.

While Mrs Harrison’s Ministerial role prevents her from taking part in chamber debates, she has written to Minister Hands to offer her support for the Bill.

Mrs Harrison said: “Ensuring we reach net-zero by 2050 is the greatest challenge we face as a country today. The urgency with which we need to act has been evident from the events at COP26 this week.

“To reach net-zero, we will require 10 times more clean energy than we have today. Nuclear is uniquely placed to deliver this as our only source of reliable low-carbon power, and it is so crucial from an emissions perspective that we in Britain oversee a programme of new nuclear - large and small.

Trudy Harrison - UK Parliament official portraits 2017.

Trudy Harrison - UK Parliament official portraits 2017.

“The biggest hurdle to new large-scale reactors in recent years has been concern over financing. That is why I wholeheartedly support this Bill, which will facilitate investment in new nuclear using the RAB model that is tried and tested and will bring down the capital costs, while protecting consumers and taxpayers by attracting new private investment.”