8 January 2008
Nuclear decision risks ‘undermining renewables’
John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today hit out at the news that the Cabinet has agreed in principle to approve a new generation of nuclear power stations, warning that the move threatened to undermine the renewables industry.
The decision on new nuclear power stations is highly controversial after the Government was forced to repeat its first review of nuclear energy after it was ruled as “misleading” by a high court judge.
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 unfairly promote nuclear power.
Speaking after hearing the news, John Barrett said:
“This is a flawed decision based on a sham consultation. There is a real risk that focusing on new nuclear plants will undermine attempts to find a cleaner, greener, more sustainable and secure solution to our energy needs.
“Nuclear is a tried, tested and failed technology with far higher costs than the renewable alternatives. We know that there are credible renewable alternatives; 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.”
Downing Street has confirmed that the Cabinet has agreed in principle to approve a new generation of nuclear power stations.