HC Deb 15 February 2001 vol 363 cc274-5W
27. Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what decline his Department forecasts in nuclear power output over the next 20 years as a result of planned nuclear power station closures. [149032]

Mr. Hain

The DTI has recently published UK energy projections for the period up until 20201. The baseline projections embody a rundown in nuclear output and capacity between 2000 and 2020 as existing stations reach the end of their lives. On an assumption of no new nuclear build, the projections are that by 2020 nuclear capacity will have fallen to 4GW and the annual electricity generated by the nuclear sector will have fallen to 27TWh. These translate into falls from current levels of 69 per cent. and 66 per cent. respectively.

There is, of course, great uncertainty about the lifetimes of existing plant and hence future output levels. Plant lives will depend on the economics of continued production, which in turn will depend on the actions required of their owners to ensure safe operation. 1 Energy Projections for the UK, 2000–20. Energy Paper 68. Published November 2000.