Interconnector shutdown highlights need for new nuclear

16 September 2021

A large fire at a substation in Kent has caused the UK to shut down a major interconnector which imports electricity from France.

The shutdown of the interconnector means that 1GW of capacity will not be available until the end of March 2022 prompting fears of a winter power shortage.

Sue Ferns, Prospect senior deputy general secretary, said:

“News that the main French interconnector supplying power to the UK has had to shut down due to a fire highlights the need to get moving on building new nuclear.

“With the current fleet of nuclear coming off line in the next few years we are already facing a potential energy gap, and that will only be made worse without electricity via this interconnector.

“What is clear is that as we attempt to achieve net zero there is a risk we become ever more dependent on energy from overseas instead of generating it ourselves.

“Nuclear is the proven, reliable, low carbon energy source that we need to complement renewables, the government needs to get a move on and start building the next generation.”

two energy workers


From generation to transmission, Prospect represents the interests of over 22,500 members working across all parts of the energy sector.