You could be forgiven for wondering what element of nuclear policy has changed as of today’s Commons statement and white paper on energy.
Power companies can now go ahead and build power stations to their hearts’ content. But then they already could.
As Vincent Cable of the Lib Dems points out: "What I find a bit mystifying about the government statement was that they seem to be saying: ‘The big step forward is that we’re not trying to stop it’."
"But they were never trying to stop it. The problem was that nuclear power companies didn’t want to invest."
Ministers would say that things have changed. Most importantly, they will be able to offer greater political certainty and a smoother planning process. John Hutton, business minister, said there had been a genuine option of saying "yes" or "no" to nuclear and a positive decision had been made.
"People (in the future) will scratch their heads in amazement that we used carbon for power," he said this afternoon.
However, you don’t have to be cynical to wonder whether this big exercise could be summarised in one sentence: Gordon Brown wants to demonstrate that he – like his predecessor – is pro-nuclear.