Simon Hughes MP, the Liberal Democrat spokesman for energy and climate change until the General Election, said in March: "It would be completely unacceptable for the government to rush through new nuclear in its last days in office without a public inquiry".
Chris Huhne on the otherhand has now ruled out a public inquiry.
Photo: Ruscombe valley - from Ash Lane - look the other way and you can see Oldbury nuke
This means that the Government can ignore the research from Germany that confirms there is a correlation between the distance of the home from nuclear power stations and the incidence of childhood cancer. This finding has been accepted by the German government and surely demands investigation?
We have also seen the Lib Dems wriggle over the subsidy issue. It is now generally accepted that nukes will only go-ahead with subsidy and already the system is being manipulated to try and hide the subsidies. The Green party has published a report that shows we can make £100bn savings from nuke weapons projects and subsidies to nuclear power (download here).
The first commercial production of electricity at Flamanville in Normandy will not now take place before 2015 ie 3 years behind their plans. In the UK the Government‘s plans are already behind schedule (see my blog here) - a 9 month slip from planning issues. Andrew Horstead, a risk analyst for energy specialists Utilyx, says: "...it’s unlikely we will see any new plants come on stream by 2020."
We need to cut emissions now, something to which new nuclear power will not be able to contribute one watt. Only 2 % of our entire energy in the UK currently comes from renewables!!! With the right policy framework, we still have a chance to be a leader in wave, tidal, and wind power. Of course whilst renewable energy generation forms a key part of the solution, we also need a massive upscale in investment in energy efficiency....but hey I've written lots on this before...To read lots more re nuclear, download the excellent no2nuclear power: NuClear News No.23 November 2010 here.