Since Calder Hall opened in 1956, Britain’s nuclear power stations have saved 2.3 billion tonnes of carbon emissions, the equivalent of all the UK’s emissions over a six-year period from 2015 through 2020. This updated figure is based on fresh analysis by the Nuclear Industry Association of nuclear output and historical grid mix data and makes the nuclear fleet by far the biggest carbon saver of any UK power source.
Without the nuclear fleet the UK would have relied considerably more on fossil fuels since only coal and gas can provide the same firm power as nuclear. This would have had potentially disastrous implications on our climate and our health, leaving us further behind on our path to net zero.
2.3 GtCO2 is equivalent to 3.5 billion individual people flying between Singapore and New York, the world’s longest flight, or 27.5 billion car journeys between Edinburgh and London.
Commenting on the analysis, Tom Greatrex, Chief Executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, said, “Nuclear has made an enormous contribution to the UK’s fight against climate change. We can only sustain this contribution if we build new nuclear power stations, that will provide the firm, low-carbon power we need for net zero.”