The public phase of the consultation, which began on Friday and will continue until 10th October, will seek the views of 1,000 members of the public in nine different meetings around the UK. Demographically representative samples will be taken from a random selection of UK households.
Having won a major victory in the High Court earlier this year, forcing the Government to re-run a consultation which was deemed ‘seriously flawed’, environmental groups have again pulled out of the consultation process, labelling it a ‘PR stich-up’.
‘There are good options in terms of renewable energy but these were not in the presentations and the delegates were not exposed to them,’ Friends of the Earth nuclear expert Neil Crumpton told the Guardian. ‘We were never able to put our side of the case across.’
The early results also show that 89 per cent of the participants were ‘concerned’ or ‘very concerned’ about the safety issues of nuclear power, and 92 per cent were worried about the creation of new nuclear waste.
In what may seem like a premonition of the outcome of the consultation, energy company EDF and nuclear consultants Areva have launched a website detailing plans for a new EPR reactor to be built in the UK.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist September 2007