CND welcomes the decision of Swiss Energy Minister Doris Leuthard to suspend approval for three new nuclear power stations in Switzerland. It also welcomes reports that the German government is likely to suspend its decision to extend the life of its nuclear power stations.

Yesterday Energy Secretary Chris Huhne called on the Chief Nuclear Inspector, Dr Mike Weightman, to make a thorough report on the implications of the situation in Japan and the lessons to be learned. However, CND believes that this action falls short of what the situation requires.

CND now calls on the British government to follow the Swiss lead and suspend UK plans for new nuclear power stations.

Kate Hudson, CND General Secretary, said:

‘Ongoing reports from Fukushima indicate a worsening scenario with partial or full meltdown likely – if not already taking place. Reports that the Tokyo Electric Power Company, which runs the plant, is playing down any health risk, are shocking. Such a course of action is potentially disastrous folly. People need to be fully aware of what is taking place there, and what the likely health and environmental scenarios may be.’

‘Any attempt to downplay the consequences of such a disaster for political or financial motives would be absolutely reprehensible and immoral – and that applies to Britain as well as to Japan.

We cannot have business as usual and Chris Huhne’s call for a report falls short of what is required in the interests of public health and safety. As an absolute minimum we must follow the example of the Swiss and suspend all steps towards new build nuclear power stations in Britain.

We reiterate our call for a non-nuclear energy policy, building on and developing Britain’s undoubted capacity for the development and production of sustainable energy forms.’

CND will be holding a parliamentary meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster on Tuesday 26th April, 6:00-7:30pm in the Grimond Room, Portcullis House. ‘Remembering Chernobyl: nuclear power is not the answer’ will be hosted by Caroline Lucas MP.