Azara Blog: Judge throws out UK government's nuclear power plans

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Date published: 2007/02/15

The BBC says:

A High Court judge has ordered a rethink of the government's nuclear power plans, after a legal challenge by environmental campaigners Greenpeace.

A judge ruled that the consultation process before making the decision last year had been "misleading", "seriously flawed" and "procedurally unfair".

Greenpeace said the ministers should "go back to the drawing board".

Industry Secretary Alistair Darling said the government would re-consult, but still favoured nuclear power.

He told the BBC they could appeal but accepted the judge's ruling and would consult again, although there was "a race against time" with climate change.

There was also the need to ensure the UK was not overly-reliant on imports of oil and gas, he said.

Mr Darling said "counter views" would be taken into consideration, but "on a matter so important as climate change it just isn't possible to stand back and say: 'We don't have any views'".

The government also stressed that the judge's ruling was on the "process of consultation, not the principle of nuclear power".

Greenpeace's Emma Gibson told the BBC: "The government's so-called consultation was a sham and we are very pleased the judge has agreed with us on that.

"If Tony Blair wants to continue with his misguided plan for a whole new generation of nuclear power stations, the government will have to go back to the drawing board."

In some ways the government deserves what it got for running such a cynical public consultation in the first place. But they are the government, and they should be able to do what they want (subject to it being passed by Parliament) without first having to get approval from the unacccountable middle class control freaks (such as Greenpeace and the judge). And if there is anybody more cynical than the government, it is Greenpeace. They do not care about the public consultation either (except that it offers them a platform to grandstand, which is their strong point). What they really just want is to stop nuclear power and they will use any tactic to achieve their goal. The big losers are the UK taxpayer, who will have to hand over more millions of pounds to dozens of overpaid and useless lawyers and consultants, all in the name of a fatuous public consultation. This is a perfect example of how dysfunctional UK public life is. Not enough money gets spent on science and engineering. Far too much gets spent on middle class chatterboxes.

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