Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Whitehall Document Details U.K. Nuclear Energy Plans

With U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair being returned to power after last week's election, details are beginning to come to light regarding his government's plans to revive that country's nuclear energy sector.

From the Guardian:

In a 46-paragraph briefing note for incoming ministers, Joan MacNaughton, the director-general of energy policy at the new Department of Productivity, Energy and Industry, warns that key policy targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and boost green energy are likely to fail, and that decisions on new nuclear power stations must be taken urgently. It advises that 'it is generally easier to push ahead on controversial issues early in a new parliament'.

The document points to the key role new nuclear power stations, which do not emit carbon dioxide, would play in tackling carbon emissions. It states: 'We now have 12 nuclear stations providing 20 per cent of our electricity carbon-free. By 2020 this will fall to three stations and 7 per cent as stations are retired.'

It also points to the increased risk of an electricity supply shortage after 2008, when a number of nuclear plants are due to close, and warns of a growing reliance on imported gas supplies.

Looks like we'll be seeing movement sooner rather than later. And opponents of the industry are already gearing up for a fight.

Technorati tags: , , , , ,

No comments: