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Another nail in UK’s nuclear coffin, happening as media focuses on Brexit

Jonathon Porritt 20th Jan 2019 Were it not for blanket Brexit, smothering every other news item, I suspect there would have been a lot more coverage of the recent collapse of Hitachi’s nuclear pretensions here in the UK. And a lot more questioning
about what the hell happens next – in terms of UK energy and climate policy.

As Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, [we] invested significant resource in seeking to persuade Tony Blair that his 2005 change of heart on nuclear (Labour’s position before then was to keep the nuclear option ‘in the long grass’), was profoundly ill-judged. And then, together with three other former Directors of Friends of the Earth,
in 2012 and 2013, warning David Cameron and his and his pro-nuclear Lib Dem groupies that his plans for six new plants by 2030 had zero prospect of ever being delivered.

Maybe even Greg Clark will be forced to recognise that his much-loved nuclear parrot really is a definitively dead parrot. After all, he’s a smart guy, and reassuringly free of the kind of ideological blinkers that make so many of his Cabinet colleagues unfit to lead anything other than an endangered cult. His statement to Parliament on the collapse of the Hitachi deal was appropriately measured, and he acknowledged unhesitatingly that nuclear power ‘is being out-competed’.

The unquestioned credibility of the Committee on Climate Change is a precious asset, and one which has served us well over the last ten years. But it cannot possibly go on pretending that nuclear power will be making much of a contribution to the low-carbon generation we need by 2030. If ever.

January 24, 2019 - Posted by | general

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