For immediate release: 11 July 2006

Today’s Energy Review confirms expectations that the government is to back new build nuclear power stations. Whilst the Review also emphasises positive priorities, such as energy efficiencies and support for renewables, its embracing of the nuclear option is to be condemned.

The challenges identified by the review – of tackling climate change and delivering secure, clean energy at affordable prices – are indeed the urgent priorities. The Review, however, fails to convince that nuclear power can meet these challenges. Rather, it repeats the narratives of the nuclear industry on safety, cost and security.

Of particular concern is the indication that the government is planning to bypass the public inquiry process, presumably to make the investment option more attractive to the private sector. The report, which is clearly looking to develop a planning inquiry framework which avoids public participation, comments: ‘We are seeking views on a policy framework in which national strategic and regulatory issues are most appropriately discussed through processes other than the public inquiry.’

CND condemns this latest attempt by government to exclude popular participation and discussion over matters crucial to Britain’s safety and security. Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, ‘These new proposals effectively leave the British public without any recourse to democratic debate, inquiry and protest about the new proposals. This is all too reminiscent of the government’s current plans to make a decision on Trident Replacement before a White Paper in parliament and without a vote. No short cuts can be taken over people’s safety and security, whether over nuclear power or nuclear weapons. The right to public inquiries must be maintained.’


Notes to Editor:

1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.