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26 April 2006

Chernobyl anniversary underlines the dangers of nuclear power

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West and Shadow Minister of State for Scotland, today called on the Government to dismiss proposals for new nuclear power stations and instead commit itself to renewable energy sources.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Recent reports suggest the eventual death toll for the disaster could be as high as 60,000, far higher than previously thought. Mr Barrett will today attend a memorial event to commemorate the victims and voice concern at the prospect of a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK.

Speaking from Westminster, John Barrett said:

“The spectre of Chernobyl will rightly loom large over the current energy debate. While no one should be trying to make political capital out of the disaster, nevertheless it is crucial that we learn from the events of that day.

“I have seen for myself the devastating impact of the disaster during a visit to children’s cancer hospitals in Kiev. While the incompetence of the Soviet government must clearly shoulder the blame for the disaster, the apocalyptic potential of nuclear power must not be forgotten.

“With growing concerns over the potential for terrorist attacks not to mention the dubious economics of nuclear power, there is simply no need to gamble on a new generation of nuclear power station.“I will continue to press the government to show the same commitment to renewable energy as it has shown to the nuclear industry in the past.”

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.