Nine of the eleven sites have previously had a nuclear power station on the site. (The NDA is responsible for the UK’s nuclear legacy and is currently decommissioning reactors at a number of these sites. It will auction land to the developers of the new stations.)
The public now have the opportunity to review and comment on the nominated sites. This consultation will close next month, on 14 May 2009. After that, the Government will carry out an assessment of each site and has announced that by autumn 2009, it will publish a draft policy statement of those sites that are considered to be potentially suitable. There will then be a further consultation with the public, during winter 2009/spring 2010. After that consultation closes, Parliament will scrutinise the proposals.
From 2010, developers who are interested in building the nuclear power stations will be able to apply to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (an independent body being set up to decide on planning applications for projects of national significance) for development consent.
The nuclear industry is keen to build new power stations, despite the lack of public subsidy and well-rehearsed concerns from the public. (If you follow the link, start listening at one minute in…) Although it is unclear how many new power stations will, eventually, be built, those that do go ahead will be welcomed by the construction and engineering industry.