Government misinformed over need for new nuclear, claims report

A trade association has alleged the Government may have been misled in determining their future energy policies by information on nuclear power that could be inaccurate. The report by Unlock […]

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By Tom Gibson

A trade association has alleged the Government may have been misled in determining their future energy policies by information on nuclear power that could be inaccurate.

The report by Unlock Democracy and ACE, a trade association for energy efficiency and insulation companies, says Parliament needs to re-open the nuclear debate: “there is absolutely no need for any more nuclear power stations to deliver energy security (‘keep the lights on’) and achieve 80% reductions in carbon dioxide by 2050”.

The issues in the publication by Unlock Democracy and The Association for the Conservation of Energy focus on how accurate a picture ministers painted for Parliament on how important nuclear is for the UK energy future and suggest the demand for energy may have been exaggerated. The ‘Corruption of Governance?’ report claims that if MPs had been presented with an accurate picture of the evidence for and against new reactors, the government’s plans might have been more strongly challenged.

A spokesman at DECC said: “We are confident that the Energy National Policy Statements- which will inform decisions on building new infrastructure- are robust documents which took account of all relevant factors.”

Professor David Mackay, DECC’s chief scientific advisor said in a Guardian online debate: No-nuclear pathways are certainly technically possible, but if we do without nuclear, you necessarily need stronger effort in other sectors (eg lifestyle change and demand reduction), which may already be challenging to deliver. Any successful 2050 pathway involves significant change in lots of sectors.”