NUCLEAR: “Green light for Hinkley is bad news for the taxpayer and bad news for our energy future” – Green MP

Statement sent out today – Caroline also quizzed Ed Davey over the
announcement directly in Parliament.

OFFICE OF CAROLINE LUCAS, MP FOR BRIGHTON PAVILION

Responding to the announcement [1] by Energy Secretary Ed Davey today
that he has given planning consent to EDF to build a new nuclear
facility at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, Caroline Lucas (Green Party)
said:

“Ed Davey rightly warned in 2006 that “a new generation of nuclear
power stations will cost taxpayers and consumers tens of billions of
pounds” and that, “in addition to posing safety and environmental risks,
nuclear power will only be possible with vast taxpayer subsidies or a
rigged market” – so it’s astonishing that, in a deplorable departure
from his party’s policy, he has today given the green light to EDF to
build the UK’s first new nuclear plant for a generation.

“That the Government is willing to sign off on Hinkley even before an
agreement has been reached on how much the taxpayer will have to hand
over to the French state-owned energy giant, and before a new facility
to deal with the toxic waste has been agreed, is misguided in the
extreme.

“Despite the energy department’s attempts to rewrite the dictionary on
the definition of a subsidy, it’s now blindingly obvious that billions
of pounds of public money will be thrown at new nuclear in the form of a
strike price and the underwriting of costs including accident liability
and construction – in direct breach of the Coalition agreement.

“The only two nuclear power stations under construction in Europe today
are billions of pounds over budget and facing increasing delays. With
Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Sweden and Denmark
all rejecting new nuclear, why is the UK still obsessed with keeping
this expensive and unnecessary technology alive?”

The Brighton Pavilion MP concluded: “Nuclear is a dangerous distraction
from the truly ambitious energy policy we need – one which focuses on
renewable energy and energy efficiency, and which would deliver more
jobs, faster carbon reductions and a fundamentally more democratic
energy system fit for the future.”

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