GOVERNMENT ADVISORS REJECT NUCLEAR POWER
REPORT: NUKES WON’T SOLVE CLIMATE CHANGE OR ENERGY INSECURITY
GOVERNMENT advisors have rejected calls for new nuclear power stations in
the UK – saying the dangers and costs outweigh any potential benefits in
terms of combating climate change or guaranteeing future energy security.
“Today’s report makes it that much harder for the Government to sanction any
new nuclear power stations in the UK – they are dirty, dangerous, expensive
and unpopular, both with the public and even with the Government’s own
advisors,” said Green Party Euro-MP Caroline Lucas.
The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), in its response to a
Government public consultation and review of the UK’s energy needs, finds
that both the economic and environmental cases for nuclear power are based
on a whole range of uncertainties and speculation – and as such are not
Its report ‘The role of nuclear in a low carbon economy’, published today,
said nuclear power could provide some economic and environmental benefits –
but these are uncertain and outweighed by the clear disadvantages of
creating a long-term radioactive waste disposal problem, undermining energy
efficiency and international security, its long-term inflexibility and the
uncertain economics surrounding the industry.
Dr Lucas, a Green Party MEP for South-East England and the Party’s Principal
Speaker, said Greens welcomed the SDC’s report – and its conclusion that we
should concentrate on energy efficiency and conservation measures.
“This report is based on a careful analysis of the costs and benefits of
nuclear power – and it finds, simply, that the costs and dangers outweigh
Dr Lucas said: “It acknowledges that, at best, nuclear power could only
reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a mere eight per cent – that’s not much
more than could be cut overnight by regulating to prevent six per cent of UK
electricity being used to power machines left on standby.
“A far greater impact on reducing CO2 emissions and securing our energy
needs could be made through energy conservation: according to the EU’s own
figures, for example, 40% of Europe’s existing primary demand for energy
could be met through the implementation of energy efficiency measures using
“Nuclear energy is neither safe nor economically viable – quite the
opposite. We simply can’t shy away from the need to reduce energy demand and
increase electricity generation from renewable sources: delivering new jobs
and improved economic efficiency as we do so.”
Last week the Green Party published its response to the Government’s
consultation, its ‘Alternative Energy Review’, which warns of the
prohibitive coasts of nuclear energy and, like the SDC, urges the government
to reject calls for any new nuclear power stations to be built in the UK.
It proposes a range of alternative measures to combat emissions, and finds
that market-based measures to reduce demand and increase renewable
generation could reduce CO2 emissions by a factor of five more than
fast-tracking new nuclear power stations, at a fraction of the cost.