Azara Blog: Nuclear power in the news

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Date published: 2006/07/06

The BBC says:

Local objections to nuclear power plants could be over-ridden under planning changes proposed by the government's energy review.

Councils could alter the appearance and precise location of the sites but would be unable to reject power plants on the grounds they were not needed.

Trade Secretary Alistair Darling told the Financial Times a "statement of need" would prioritise energy projects.

He said the measures were necessary to ensure power supplies did not run out.

"Given the fact that we may need to replace a third of our electricity generation, there is a serious risk that one day we'll switch on the lights and there won't be gas or electricity unless we deal with this planning problem," he said.

He said the government needed to "streamline the planning laws for big infrastructure projects" to ensure proposals of national importance were identified at an early stage and seen through properly.

Although this makes some sense (and not just for nuclear power plants), the government is treading dangerous ground here and almost certainly someone will take them to court claiming their "human rights" have been violated because of this. And as with all such big infrastructure projects (including wind farms), if the people affected were properly compensated then there would be a lot less objections in the first place (except from the so-called environmentalists, who have nothing better to do with their time).

Meanwhile, the BBC also says:

The Conservatives have said nuclear power should be used only as "a last resort" to supply the UK with energy.

Their Energy Review's interim findings say there should be a "level playing field" for environmentally-friendly sources and other means of power.

Another content-free statement from the Tories, but that's little different from Labour, either in general or in this policy area specifically.

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