The question of subsidies for nuclear power is very much a live issue in the UK. Negotiations between the Government and the prospective developers of what would be the first new nuclear power station to be built for 30 years as to price support have come under critical consideration by both the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee in its November 2013 report, and the more general issue of “subsidies” for nuclear energy has long been the subject of complaint by anti-nuclear groups. The question seems likely to be brought into sharp legal focus over the issue of EU State Aid rules and the need for consideration by the Commission. The whole area of subsidies for energy projects is one plagued by a lack of clarity and transparency, and the nuclear debate needs to be set in the overall context of the evolving rules and principles within the EU. The support for, and growth of, renewable technologies has raised many questions, or brought existing ones into sharper focus, as will the need for measures to ensure stability of supply when a greater share of energy is derived from intermittent renewable sources. This paper seeks to put the nuclear subsidies issue into this context. It is not written from a pro- or anti-nuclear stance and is not seeking to make the case either way. Indeed, part of the problem in the debate over nuclear support mechanisms is the risk of it being clouded by political, ideological or emotive responses to nuclear technology.
For the full paper from Stephen Tromans QC please follow this link