Chancellor Rishi Sunak is said to be resisting a push for nuclear energy to play a larger role in the UK’s supplies. It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to meet with nuclear power companies today to discuss how they can play a part in the crisis. Mr Johnson has long been a supporter of nuclear, including it in his “Ten Point Plan” for a “Green Revolution” in the race to net zero.
But he is understood to now want to turbocharge those plans to help reduced the West’s reliance on fossil fuels from Moscow.
However, Mr Johnson is understood to be frustrated that Mr Sunak appears reluctant to embrace a “dash to nuclear,” according to the Telegraph.
The Prime Minister is said to believe that the Treasury was at least partly responsible for scuppering earlier attempts to get nuclear energy into place.
This is said to be due tp the high costs associated with the energy source.
Number 10 has reportedly asked the Treasury to overcome this “resistance”.
The tension between Mr Johnson and his Chancellor comes days before Mr Sunak’s spring statement on Wednesday when he is expected to unveil measures to address the cost of living crisis.
In a speech to the Conservative spring conference in Blackpool on Saturday, Mr Johnson said that Britain “will make better use of our own naturally occurring hydrocarbons, rather than import them top dollar from abroad and put the money into Putin’s bank account”.
It comes after the Prime Minister promised on March 7 to set out an energy supply strategy “in the days ahead”.
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In an article for the Telegraph last week, Mr Johnson wrote: “So now is the time to make a series of big new bets on nuclear power.
“The 1997 Labour manifesto said there was ‘no economic case’ for more nuclear – even though nuclear is in fact safe, clean and reliable.
“It is time to reverse that historic mistake, with a strategy that includes small modular reactors as well as the larger power stations.
“It was the UK that first split the atom. It was the UK that had the world’s first civilian nuclear power plant. It is time we recovered our lead.”