‘No’ to Nuclear Power
It is clear that we face many challenges in meeting our future energy needs. However, every day I grow more and more convinced that nuclear power is not the answer to any of these challenges.
Nuclear fuel and waste both present security risks in the event of an accident or terrorist attack, while the problem of what to do with nuclear waste remains unresolved. It is almost 30 years since the report from the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution raised the alarm on nuclear waste. The fact is that the nuclear industry still has no clear answers to this problem.
The costs of decommissioning nuclear stations at the end of their working lives are also large and unpredictable. The private sector will not fund new nuclear build without large public subsidy. I believe this money would be far better spent on developing renewable energy sources.
In parliament I used recent debate on nuclear power to argue in favour of greater investment in renewable energy sources rather than in new nuclear power stations. Scotland should be a world leader in renewable energy, we have the natural resources, we have the skills and the ambition, and yet the Labour government continues to be lukewarm in its position on renewable energy.
The Government will shortly be publishing the response to its most recent energy review. I believe it will come down to a choice between nuclear power and a combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency as the way to reduce carbon emissions in the electricity sector. I will continue to campaign in favour of greater investment in renewable and energy saving measures rather than pumping more money into nuclear power.
I would be interested to know the views of constituents on this issue. Please take part in my online poll to let me know your own views.
Barrett attacks the real cost of nuclear power, 06 November 2009
Nuclear power would ‘hi-jack renewables’, 01 May 2008
Nuclear decision risks ‘undermining renewables’, 08 January 2008
Barrett slams Government spin over nuclear consultation, 07 January 2008
Barrett slams Government over lack of ambition for renewable energy, 07 June 2007
Government nuclear plans will undermine renewables revolution, 22 May 2007
Barrett criticises Government over nuclear folly, 22 February 2007
Nuclear ‘not the answer’ – Barrett, 11 July 2006
Barrett backs moves against ‘quick fix’ nuclear build, 10 July 2006
Barrett warns against nuclear future for Scotland, 19 June 2006
Chernobyl anniversary underlines the dangers of nuclear power, 26 April 2006
Barrett attacks Darling over lack of environmental ambition , 27 March 2006
Government should listen to its own advisors on nuclear power, 06 March 2006
Nuclear is not the answer for Scotland , 18 January 2006
Nuclear is not the answer, 29 November 2005
Speeches and articles
Future Energy Needs (Scotland), 01 December 2005