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Saturday, March 26, 2005
Call for new power plants, but Holyrood vetoes nuclear

24 March 2005

Key points
Committee calls for more nuclear power reactors to meet energy needs
Executive will block new plants until safety issues on nuclear waste resolved
50% Scotland’s energy made by nuclear plants; 1% of UK’s energy by wind

Key quote
"Jim Wallace [the enterprise minister] said recently that, until we have a solution to the problem of safe disposal of nuclear waste, we are not planning any more nuclear power stations. Jack McConnell then endorsed that as the position of the Executive" - Scottish executive spokeswoman

Story in full SCOTLAND should not turn its back on nuclear power if it wants to avoid a crippling energy shortfall in the future, Scottish MPs warned yesterday.

But the Scottish Executive insisted last night that it would block the development of any new reactors unless safety fears were met.

MPs on the Scottish affairs committee said nuclear power stations would help avert Britain becoming a net importer of gas and could be built in as little as five years.

The Scotsman understands Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, has also been told by the government’s most senior scientists that new nuclear power plants must be built to safeguard Britain’s future energy supplies.

The Scottish affairs committee called for a "proper debate" on energy, including an audit of the costs and risks of nuclear and coal power, to be conducted after the election.

Nuclear power accounts for half of Scotland’s electricity and in their report on meeting Scotland’s future energy needs, MPs said the best solution "might be the most controversial decision that the government could take: the rehabilitation of nuclear power".

From: The Scotsman



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