Cancelling plans to build the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Somerset and instead investing in renewable energy could save the UK £30-40 billion, according to the Intergenerational Foundation (IF).

The think tank said it would be cheaper to buy renewable energy when compared with the cost of building the plant and then buying electricity from it for 35 years.

Angus Hanton, IF’s Co-Founder, said: “With 13 nuclear reactors planned or proposed for the UK, the government is tying the hands of our children and grandchildren by handing them a toxic mix of high prices per kWh for electricity generated, high and long-term unknown costs for managing radioactive waste, complex and long-term security requirement costs, and a less secure and vulnerable energy infrastructure.

“Cheaper, safer and quicker energy options exist, which represent better value-for-money for current taxpayers while also laying the groundwork for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future for our children and grandchildren.”

Additional waste and insurance costs

IF said the true cost of Hinkley C would be even higher when £54-£132bn for the management of nuclear waste was taken into account.

The think tank said a further £150bn to £2.5 trillion could be needed in under-insurance of Hinkley C follows the same path as similar German stations.

IF’s comments came as it published a report entitled “Toxic Time Capsule: Why nuclear energy is an intergenerational issue”.

> See IF's statement