As Europe looks to move away from dependence on Russian energy, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said nuclear power needs to play a larger role.
Nuclear power is “absolutely crucial to weaning us off fossil fuels, including Russian oil and gas,” Johnson said during a visit to England’s Hartlepool nuclear power station on Monday.
“Instead of a new one every decade, we’re going to build one every year, powering homes with clean, safe and reliable energy,” Johnson said in a tweet.
It’s not the first time the prime minister has touted the advantages of nuclear power. In April, he said “nuclear is a reliable, safe and constant source of clean energy.”
Nuclear power supplied around 21% of the U.K.’s energy needs during 2020, up from 9.4% in 2000.
The government has outlined a plan to expand the country’s nuclear power generation to 24 gigawatts by 2050, or about 25% of electricity demand.
The U.K.’s decision to double down on nuclear, whose use has been historically polarizing, differs from Germany’s approach, which has announced plans to build new liquefied natural gas terminals rather than to bring nuclear reactors back online.
France, on the other hand, has long supported nuclear power; it relies on nuclear reactors for about 70% of its electricity.