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Darling gives nuclear assurance

Mr Darling said that whatever the review's findings, no nuclear power stations could be built in Scotland without the executive's consent.

Scottish ministers will get the final say on whether to build more nuclear power plants in Scotland, the Secretary of State for Industry has said.

Speaking before the UK Government published its energy review on Tuesday, Alistair Darling said planning was a devolved issue.

The review is set to pave the way for six new UK nuclear power stations.

In its submission to the review, the Scottish Executive promoted Scotland's role in developing green energy.

The prime minister ordered the energy review last November to decide how the UK would meet its targets for fighting global warming and ensuring energy security.

Mr Darling said that whatever the review's findings, no nuclear power stations could be built in Scotland without the executive's consent.

Speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, he said: "Of course we recognise in Scotland planning is devolved and Scottish ministers also get to decide whether or not to give consent to any large plant, nuclear or otherwise."

Scotland's two nuclear power stations, Hunterston B, in Ayrshire, and Torness, East Lothian, are earmarked for closure by 2011 and 2022 respectively.

Mr Darling called for a "grown-up debate" on the country's... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Scottish ministers will get the final say on whether to build more nuclear power plants in Scotland, the Secretary of State for Industry has said.

Speaking before the UK Government published its energy review on Tuesday, Alistair Darling said planning was a devolved issue.

The review is set to pave the way for six new UK nuclear power stations.

In its submission to the review, the Scottish Executive promoted Scotland's role in developing green energy.

The prime minister ordered the energy review last November to decide how the UK would meet its targets for fighting global warming and ensuring energy security.
 
Mr Darling said that whatever the review's findings, no nuclear power stations could be built in Scotland without the executive's consent.

Speaking on BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, he said: "Of course we recognise in Scotland planning is devolved and Scottish ministers also get to decide whether or not to give consent to any large plant, nuclear or otherwise."

Scotland's two nuclear power stations, Hunterston B, in Ayrshire, and Torness, East Lothian, are earmarked for closure by 2011 and 2022 respectively.

Mr Darling called for a "grown-up debate" on the country's energy requirements and said developments had been hamstrung in the past by local planning objectors.

Oil and gas

"I think the important thing for people to focus on is the two big problems we've got: one is the need to tackle climate change, we cannot go on pumping carbon into the atmosphere," he said.

"Secondly is in relation to security of supply. We've largely been dependent on North Sea oil and gas for the last 30 years.

"While it's still plentiful, we will become increasingly dependent on importing oil and gas, so those are the two big challenges and we have to make sure we've got the right mix."

The Secretary of State said the energy review would make a strong case for renewable energy sources like the 49-turbine wind farm being built at Braes of Doune, near Dunblane, which will generate enough electricity for 55,000 homes.


 Scotland may yet be saddled with the white elephant of more unsafe and unnecessary nuclear power
Duncan McLaren
FoE Scotland 

Scottish Green Party nuclear spokesman Chris Ballance said it was "absurd" to suggest nuclear power should be included in a balanced energy mix.

He said: "There's nothing balanced in expanding nuclear energy and leaving the clean-up bill for future generations.

"Greens and others - including the government's own Sustainable Development Commission - have thoroughly assessed nuclear power and have concluded that the industry has offered no genuine case that can be taken seriously."

Climate change


Mr Ballance said the prime minister should be assessing the best way of reducing global tensions and taking the most effective route to tackling climate change.

"Trident and a new generation of nuclear reactors will do neither," the MSP added.

Friends of the Earth (FoE) Scotland said the review must make Scotland and the rest of the UK "world leaders" in developing a low-carbon, nuclear-free economy.

The group said the UK could meet its energy needs without building more nuclear power stations.

FoE Scotland chief executive Duncan McLaren said: "Despite the first minister's apparent opposition, Scotland may yet be saddled with the white elephant of more unsafe and unnecessary nuclear power.

"It's hard to see any reprieve lasting beyond the next election unless the Scottish Executive locks-in future support for renewables and energy saving, with tougher targets and a planning system that enables public participation.

"This must include provisions for debating any objections against nuclear facilities on grounds of need at a full public inquiry."

 

 


Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/...

JUL 11 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/3433-darling-gives-nuclear-assurance
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