Government's energy policy is in tatters, say campaigners

By agency reporter
January 12, 2019

Hitachi is reported to be on the verge of scrapping plans to build the Wylfa Newydd nuclear power station in Anglesey. Anti-nuclear and environmental campaigners have welcomed the news.

Dr Doug Parr, Chief Scientist for Greenpeace UK, said: “The government’s energy policy is in tatters, but this is the opposite of a disaster. We could have locked ourselves into reliance on an obsolete, unaffordable technology, but we’ve been given the chance to think again and make a better decision. Our urgent, immediate dilemma – how to maintain security of supply whilst cutting carbon – can be solved by making offshore wind, at half the cost of nuclear, the backbone of the new power system. The failure of the old technology is the opportunity the new technologies need, and Britain’s world-leading offshore wind industry’s time has come.”

Also commenting, Sara Medi Jones, Acting General Secretary of CND, said: “The government’s nuclear energy policy is in tatters. Two major international investors have now suspended plans to build nuclear reactors here in Britain. Toshiba withdrew from the Moorside plant just a few weeks ago, and now Hitachi appears to have reached the same conclusion, that new nuclear isn’t economically viable.

“This should be a moment of reckoning for the government, forcing a nuclear policy rethink. Even in France, where nuclear power is dominant in the energy sector, government agencies are waking up to reality. A new report out last month by the French environment agency says there is no economic case for new reactors.

“Governments that back new nuclear avoid talking about nuclear waste because there is no solution to it, and the threat nuclear accidents pose to the environment and human health are as real as they were before the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

“With offshore wind now cheaper than nuclear it’s clear there is a clean and workable alternative. We just need the political will to make it happen.”

* Greenpeace UK

* Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament


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