Nuclear deal a costly mistake, UK government told

By staff writers
23 Oct 2013

Environmental groups have declared their intention to campaign against a renewal of the UK civil nuclear power programme.

Though there has been controversy within the movement in recent years, some of the largest green advocacy groups continue to maintain that the evidence shows nuclear power to be both dangerous and uneconomic.

Commenting on the agreement this week of a ‘strike price’ for the electricity generated by nuclear power, Friends of the Earth’s Policy and Campaigns Director Craig Bennett said: “With rocketing gas prices sending fuel bills soaring and fresh warnings over climate change, investment in low-carbon power is crucial - but nuclear power isn’t the answer."

Bennett continued: “The quickest way to end our costly fossil fuel dependency is though energy efficiency and renewable power, not new reactors that will suck up precious investment and take years to complete.

“Investment in German renewables has led to a massive fall in the wholesale cost of electricity. The Government should be following this example, instead of locking the UK into costly nuclear power for decades.

“Investors are crying out to develop Britain’s vast renewable energy potential, but they need the confidence to do so. That’s why they want a clean power target in the Energy Bill,” the FoE spokesperson said.

The China deal for Hinkley Point C EDF Nuclear Power Plant is a distraction, Friends of the Earth has declared.

Craig Bennett commented: “Make no mistake, this is a bad deal for taxpayers – the Government has chosen to give enormous long-term hand outs to Chinese and French companies when they could be developing a world class renewable industry in the UK.

“The reality is that nuclear power takes decades to build, but climate change and energy challenges are upon us now – this focus on nuclear distracts from more urgent priorities such as delivering energy efficiency to households who are suffering rocketing energy bills due to the rising price of gas.

“The Government must listen to investors who are calling for a 2030 electricity decarbonisation target in the Energy Bill and focus on the measures to deliver it.”

* Friend of the Earth: http://www.foe.co.uk/

* Stop Nuclear Power Network: http://stopnuclearpoweruk.net/node/33

[Ekk/3]

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