Government approves ten new sites for nuclear power

| 9th November 2009
Greenpeace say nuclear is a distraction to the the real solutions
Greenpeace say nuclear is a distraction to the the real solutions

Government said it is 'satisfied' that disposing of radioactive waste will not be a problem

Environmental groups say nuclear power will create a legacy of waste and undermine the UK's drive towards an economy based on renewable energy

The Government has approved ten new sites for nuclear power plants to be built over the next 15 years.

Speaking to MPs today, Energy and Climate Change secretary Ed Miliband said even with ambitious targets for renewable energy there would be a need for 'additional new, non-renewable power'.

The ten sites given approval were Bradwell, Braystones, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinkley Point, Kirksanton, Oldbury, Sellafield, Sizewell and Wylfa. A proposed site at Dungeness in Kent was ruled out because of concerns about the impact on the unique local ecosystem and concerns about 'coastal erosion and associated flood risk'.

Alternative sites at Kingsnorth, Druridge Bay and Owston Ferry were also ruled out.

Nuclear waste

Miliband also said his department had been satisfied that 'effective arrangements to manage and dispose of the waste from new nuclear power stations can be put in place'.

However, WWF, Friends of the Earth and the Government's own sustainability watchdog said the issue of radioactive waste had not been resolved.

'It will create a legacy of radioactive waste that will remain highly dangerous for thousands of years and cost taxpayers billions of pounds to manage,' said a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth.

WWF agreed and said the 'rush to green-light' new nuclear power stations would undermine the UK's ability to build a truly sustainable low-carbon future.

Will Day, chair of the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), the Government's green watchdog, has previously told the Ecologist of his concerns about the expansion of nuclear power in the UK.

Speaking today, he said he feared the Government was 'locking in another generation to big-box grid projects'.

He said the country should instead investing in more efficient, smart or local grid power generation.

Useful links

Statement on nuclear power

Letter: everyone suffers from new nuclear
It's not just the UK that suffers from the Government's new fervour for nuclear power; communities worldwide will feel the folly of the move...
UK needs electric cars and nuclear power, says watchdog
Government climate watchdog says a 'step change' in Government policy is needed to meet carbon reduction targets
No nuclear but door open for GM, says new SDC chief Will Day
Sustainability in danger of becoming jargon, says newly appointed green watchdog chief
UK urged to triple nuclear power
Former Minister's call to triple the contribution of nuclear power in UK dismissed as scare tactics

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