Monday, August 08, 2005

Lack of support for nuclear power

Domestic Policy news : Lack of support for nuclear power

Lack of support for nuclear power
Monday, 08 Aug 2005 11:46

Most people believe renewable energy could replace imported oil and gas, according to a new Populus poll.

The survey for The Times finds 79 per cent of respondents back renewables such as wind power, while just 18 per cent believe nuclear power should replace imports.

The government has pledged to make ten per cent of UK energy renewable by the end of the decade, and is currently moving ahead with building wind farms with a view to meeting this target.

However, many analysts believe nuclear power is the best way to both cut carbon emissions – the government has pledged to cut these by 60 per cent by 2010 – and end Britain's reliance on oil from the Middle East.

And while the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) has insisted it has no plans to build any nuclear power plants, a spokeswoman told that "we are not ruling it out".

"We are committed to a mix of energies," she said, quoting also biomass, wind and solar power, and highlighting the £25 million recently set aside for investment in clean coal.

But today's figures suggest a widespread antipathy towards nuclear power, based on concerns over what to do with nuclear waste and fears about the safety of nuclear plants.

More than half (59 per cent) of those polled said it would be irresponsible to build more nuclear power stations while questions remain about how the waste can be safely disposed.

A similar percentage went so far as to say nuclear power was unsafe, while only one per cent of respondents said they thought ministers or MPs would tell the truth about their safety.


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