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Government announcement a nuclear nightmare - Mick Bates AM

November 10, 2009 8:52 AM

Shadow Minister for the Environment, Mick Bates AM, has condemned the UK Government s decision to build a new wave of nuclear power plants across England and Wales.

Energy Secretary Ed Miliband has approved 10 sites in England and Wales for new nuclear power stations. The 10 sites deemed suitable are: Bradwell in Essex, Braystones, Kirksanton and Sellafield in Cumbria, Hartlepool, Heysham in Lancashire, Hinkley Point in Somerset, Oldbury in Gloucestershire, Sizewell in Suffolk and Wylfa in North Wales.

Commenting on the news, Welsh Liberal Democrat AM Mick Bates stated:

"I am deeply disappointed that the UK Government continues to pursue a toxic nuclear agenda for new nuclear development in the UK. Not only is this diverting attention away from the development of renewable energy, but any new nuclear will not come online before 2020 so provides no solution to the 'energy gap that we will be facing in 2016.

"Nuclear is not environmentally friendly, the nuclear cycle releases CO2, uranium mining is extremely CO2 intensive and therefore a nuclear programme will not help to substantially reduce our carbon emissions. We have no solution to deal with the toxic nuclear waste and no idea of the possible health problems, or the length of time taken to decommission a site as this has never been done.

"Even if Britain built ten new reactors, nuclear power would only deliver a 4% cut in carbon emissions, some time after 2025. Meanwhile the cost of cleaning up nuclear liabilities has risen to as much as £160billion, equivalent of a one-off "nuclear tax" of over £3,000 for everybody over 16 in the UK.

"This money would be better spent on solutions that are within our reach now. Reducing demand through energy efficiency, the cleaner use of fossil fuels, large scale investment in renewable energy and using state of the art decentralised power stations together have the potential to deliver reliable, quick and cheap low carbon energy and not leave behind a legacy of health issues and a toxic waste nightmare that nuclear will leave in its wake."