Thursday, February 09, 2006

Environment Agency comes out against nuclear power

Sir John Harman, Chairman of the EA, has said he doesn't want to see new nuclear power coming out of the enrgy review.

His opinion, as the chief environmental protection agency chief for England and Wales, must carry considerable weight.

His opinion is based on the problem of nuclear waste and that investment in new-build nuclear would suck investment from renewables.

He was speaking to the Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 25 January when he was asked his opinion on nuclear power and the energy review. He responded:

"We want to see a clarity about UK policy on radioactive waste management before we embarked on creating any more of the stuff when there is plenty of it already."

He followed this up by expressing a preference for renewable energy:

"It may be the case in practice that if there was a coherent and national drive for new nuclear there may not be room in the investment markets both to afford that and to keep up the pressure on investment for renewables.

"Whatever else happens in the energy economy, I do not think that we can envisage a future energy economy which does not have a substantially greater renewable component than we have now.

"Anything that will take investor initiative, investor incentive, away from that sector would be a pity in our view. It is not an absolute rock solid certainty that nuclear would do that but there is a danger which must be navigated."
>> Hansards

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