POLL: Should the UK invest more in nuclear power?

for UK households are set to skyrocket in October when the latest 80 percent hike in the energy price cap takes effect. As the energy crisis bites, many have criticised the UK’s reliance on imports for heating and , as bills for the French – who use far more nuclear energy – are far lower. This comes as a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to arrive at Europe’s largest nuclear plant in to carry out safety inspections amid Russian bombardment.

Last Friday, state energy regulator Ofgem announced the price cap increase in October would see the average household charged £3,549 a year.

This is a rise of almost 80 percent from the current cap of £1,971, and an almost 200 percent increase from the previous year.

British households are facing some of the highest energy bills in Europe this winter, primarily due to the vulnerable setup of the UK energy market.

READ MORE: Ukraine nuclear horror: TWO huge explosions reported at Zaporizhzhia

Between 1990 and 2021, gas became the UK’s single largest source of electricity production, soaring from less than 0.1 percent to 39.8 percent.

During this time, the contribution from fell from 19.8 percent to 14.9 percent, and most of the country’s existing capacity is set to be retired by the end of the decade, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

As a result of limited storage capacity and restrictions on the global supply due to sanctions imposed on Russia, UK gas prices shot up by nearly 96 percent over the past year, pushing electricity price inflation to 54 percent according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Meanwhile, in France, where nuclear production is responsible for 70 percent of supply, electricity price inflation was just 8.2 percent on the year – far lower than the UK and other more gas-reliant countries on the Continent.

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Momentum is gathering in the UK, as the Government recently backed plans and approved funding for the Sizewell C plant on the Suffolk coast, expected to generate enough electricity for six million homes when operational.

Introducing the UK’s revised energy security strategy in April, Prime Minister said: “We’re embracing the safe, clean, affordable new generation of nuclear reactors, taking the UK back to pre-eminence in a field where we once led the world.”

The plans aim to upgrade the UK’s nuclear capacity to provide roughly a quarter of the country’s electricity by 2050.

However, nuclear power generation isn’t without flaws of its own, as evidenced this summer when extreme heat made rivers in France too warm to adequately cool reactors, forcing some to reduce production capacity just as electricity was needed most.

The risks involved were also made apparent this week as Russian shelling of Europe’s biggest nuclear power station in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, stoked fears of disaster and prompted the UN to dispatch a team from the IAEA to inspect the site.

So what do YOU think? Should the UK invest more in nuclear power? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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