7 January 2008
Barrett slams Government spin over nuclear consultation
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today joined energy experts in warning that the government’s second consultation on nuclear energy, due to be released on Thursday, may be as flawed as the first.
The original review of nuclear energy in 2006 was ruled as “misleading” by a high court judge. Campaigners accused the government of using the report to promote a pro-nuclear agenda. Greenpeace called for a judicial review and a new consultation was ordered to look again at the evidence.
The results of the second consultation will be published this Thursday amid further accusations from environmental and energy groups that the document has again been used to promote nuclear power. (see Notes)
John Barrett, MP for Edinburgh West, said:
“This is the second report on nuclear power to fall victim to New Labour spin. It is time for the government to come clean and stop twisting the evidence on Nuclear Power to suit their own policy position.
“Nuclear power is an environmental time bomb and we need a full and frank debate that properly acknowledges the dangers and risks. The government’s attempt to manipulate the consultation in favour of nuclear energy has already been exposed once, they cannot be allowed to do so again.
Mr Barrett also warned that backing new nuclear power stations would jeopardise promises on renewable energy:
“We know that there are credible renewable alternatives to expensive, dangerous nuclear power. However, the industry desperately needs government support and investment.
“Ministers have already tried to wriggle out of their obligation to provide 20% of energy from renewable sources by 2020. By bankrolling a new generation of nuclear power stations, the Government run the risk of killing off the renewables industry in the UK before it has even got off the ground.
The Nuclear Consultation Working Group have stated that the nuclear consultation document had been designed to "provide limited answers".