The government hopes to boost the nuclear power industry with the largest expansion in the sector in 70 years.
A new large-scale nuclear plant would quadruple supplies by 2050, which the government claims will lower bills and improve energy security.
It also said its £300m nuclear fuel program would reduce reliance on external supplies.
But the Renewable Energy and Clean Technology Association (REA) said all clean energy needs to be fast-tracked.
Nuclear power currently provides around 15% of the UK's electricity, but many of the country's older reactors are due to be decommissioned over the next decade.
The government's civil nuclear roadmap aims to boost the UK's energy independence by exploring a new site for another nuclear power station of the size and scale of the £30bn plants under construction at Hinkley Point in Somerset and earmarked for Sizewell in Suffolk.
Industry sources told the BBC that the main candidates would include Wylva on Anglesey or Moorside in Cumbria.
'Drag their feet'
But progress can be slow – moving from planning to “operational” can take nearly 20 years. Sizewell's consultancy took just 10 years.
The majority of construction there has not yet begun, and there remains strong local opposition to the project.
The government hopes to address such problems by simplifying the development of new power plants. By introducing smarter regulations, it expects it will be able to build new nuclear power plants faster.
Clean energy sector expert Jack Abbott, who is also the Labor candidate in the neighboring constituency of Sizewell, said the government had been “dawdling” on nuclear energy for too long.
“After fourteen years, no new sites have opened, despite inheriting 10 approved sites from the last Labor government,” Abbott said. “Labor supports the expansion of the UK’s nuclear fleet, which must form an important part of our energy mix.” In the future”.
REA is also skeptical. She said the government had been “exploring” a new privately run nuclear plant for years. However, the association praised the government for its plans to allocate £300 million to produce reactor fuel in the UK – which is currently only produced commercially in Russia.
Policy Director Frank Gordon added: “We need to accelerate the deployment of all clean energy sources, especially renewable energy from diverse sources, as well as support the deployment of much-needed clean technologies and energy storage at all levels and duration.”
But the government said the plans would also support thousands of jobs as well as “take Putin out of the global market” to supply a quarter of the UK's electricity needs.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said nuclear power was “the perfect antidote to the energy challenges facing Britain”.
Of the two consultations to be published on Thursday, one will focus on a “new approach” to siting future nuclear power stations, enabling developers to find suitable sites. The other will encourage private investment.
“Community participation will remain crucial in any decisions, along with maintaining strong criteria such as nearby population density,” the government said.
Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, welcomed the publication of the roadmap and simplified regulation, but said the UK needed to develop large and small nuclear power generation “at scale and pace”.
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