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Blair's Science Adviser Recommends Lifting U.K.'s Nuclear Share

May 28 (Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Tony Blair's chief science adviser recommended the U.K. should boost the share of energy it consumes from nuclear power so that it can scale back use of fossil fuels such as oil and coal.

Sir David King said he'd prefer that the nation get about 30 percent of its energy from nuclear sources, up from 19 percent currently. The Department of Trade & Industry will make its recommendations on the issue by the end of July.

``Nuclear is one of the wedges we need to bring our use of fossil fuels down,'' King said in an interview on British Broadcasting Corp. television. ``We could diminish our use of fossil fuel.''

By the end of this year, Blair plans to decide on how to replace the third of Britain's electric power plants that will finish their service life by 2025. The nuclear share will drop to 5 percent of the total by 2020 unless he gives the green light for those plants to be replaced.

Companies that make atomic power plants including General Electric Co., Munich-based Siemens AG and Areva SA of France are lobbying Blair to back nuclear power while environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace want more renewable power sources.

On May 16, Blair said solar and wind power face ``technical limitations'' that constrain their ability to produce all the power Britain needs, putting the debate over nuclear power ``to the top of the agenda.''

King... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Sir David King said he'd prefer that the nation get about 30 percent of its energy from nuclear sources, up from 19 percent currently. The Department of Trade & Industry will make its recommendations on the issue by the end of July.
 
``Nuclear is one of the wedges we need to bring our use of fossil fuels down,'' King said in an interview on British Broadcasting Corp. television. ``We could diminish our use of fossil fuel.''
 
By the end of this year, Blair plans to decide on how to replace the third of Britain's electric power plants that will finish their service life by 2025. The nuclear share will drop to 5 percent of the total by 2020 unless he gives the green light for those plants to be replaced.
 
Companies that make atomic power plants including General Electric Co., Munich-based Siemens AG and Areva SA of France are lobbying Blair to back nuclear power while environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace want more renewable power sources.
 
On May 16, Blair said solar and wind power face ``technical limitations'' that constrain their ability to produce all the power Britain needs, putting the debate over nuclear power ``to the top of the agenda.''
 
King said nuclear power is necessary to meet targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to prevent the nation becoming more dependent on imports of natural gas from the Middle East, Africa and Russia. He said helping the environment didn't require people to quit driving cars.
 
``We can all live at the same comfort levels,'' King said. ``We would be misplaced if we would ever suggest that people should move away from the car. We are required to travel in the way that we do and we have become highly fond of the car.''
 
 

To contact the reporter on this story:
Reed V. Landberg in London at  landberg@bloomberg.net.


Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/ap...

MAY 28 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2834-blair-s-science-adviser-recommends-lifting-u-k-s-nuclear-share
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