Greens say Britain should avoid dangerous nuclear distraction

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday announced that up to eight new nuclear reactor sites have been designated for development, including Wylfa in Anglesey. Mr Huhne signalled that Britain will be “open for business”, and hopes to attract foreign nuclear investment, despite recent events at Fukushima and elsewhere.

Green Party Deputy Leader Adrian Ramsay responded to the government announcement, “While the Conservatives and LibDems often talk about being ‘the greenest government ever’, the coalition partners show their real priorities with their policies. Reducing carbon emissions must be a top priority, but this fixation on nuclear will divert investment away from the real solution – energy efficiency measures and renewable energy.”

“There are good reasons why countries across Europe are turning away from nuclear power and yet the British government is taking us in the opposite direction. Nuclear power creates a toxic legacy of waste and is bad value for money. Investing the same amount in energy efficiency and renewable energy would make much more difference more quickly in reducing carbon emissions, making our energy supply more secure and creating skilled, lasting jobs.”

With the recent revelation that three of the four affected reactors at Fukushima experienced full meltdown, and plants in America being put on alert or shut down as a result of flooding alongside the Missouri River [1], the risks involved with nuclear power are being illustrated all too clearly. And the public is taking notice; Italian voters have overwhelmingly rejected Silvio Berlusconi’s plans to restart the country’s nuclear programme [2], and Germany has committed to closing all of its plants by 2022 [3].

Notes

1. See
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jun/22/nuclearpower- nuclear-waste

2. See
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/europe/referendum-results-kill-italys-nuclear-plans-as-berlusconis-future-uncertain/article2059123/

3. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13592208

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