DECC – NUCLEAR ENERGY – 11 October 2011

Dr Julian Lewis: I thank the Secretary of State for his role in commissioning this largely reassuring report [on the Fukushima disaster]. For the avoidance of doubt, will he explain to the House what the effect would be on the Government's efforts to reduce carbon emissions in the generation of electricity were we to exclude nuclear from our collection of generating units?

[The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (Chris Huhne): It is not easy to forecast the future, and we have taken the portfolio approach to different sources of energy precisely because we might be living in a low gas price world or a high gas price world, and we need a basket of technologies that allows us to exploit the most affordable low-carbon option for British consumers in the future. In a low gas price world, clean gas could be the cheapest way of providing electricity, but in a high gas price world, the cheapest way could well be nuclear. In such circumstances, there would clearly be an increase in cost.]