The Science and Technology Committee, under the chairmanship of Lord Krebs, has launched a short inquiry to investigate whether the UK’s nuclear research and development capabilities are sufficient to meet its future nuclear energy requirements to 2050.
The Committee will be focusing on what the Government should be doing if they are to ensure that the UK's research and development capabilities are sufficient to meet the nation's nuclear energy requirements into the future. It will examine a range of questions including the following.
- What are the research and development (R&D) implications of future scenarios up to 2050?
- Does the UK have adequate R&D capabilities, including infrastructure, to meet its current and future needs for a safe and secure supply of nuclear energy?
- What can the UK learn from other countries? and is there more scope for cooperation internationally?
- Is there sufficient coordination of bodies involved in nuclear research?
- Are the roles and responsibilities of the bodies involved in funding and setting research agendas appropriate?
The Committee decided to undertake this inquiry before the recent, tragic events in Japan at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Consideration of health and safety R&D capabilities is inherent within the scope of this inquiry, and the events confirm the importance of ensuring that the UK has adequate R&D capabilities to meet current and potential future needs for nuclear energy safely and securely.
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