Government's key energy review on trial

Posted by bex — 8 February 2007 at 11:34am - Comments

Green groups gather outside the High Court as the government's energy review goes on trial

The government's decision to back a new fleet of nuclear power stations in the UK was "legally flawed", the High Court has heard.

In the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Greenpeace will argue that the government's recent energy review was not the "fullest public consultation" it had committed itself to before making a decision to back new nuclear power stations. The commitment had been made in the earlier energy white paper in 2003.

Should Greenpeace win the case, the government may have to abandon the conclusions of the energy review, carry out a much fuller consultation and provide comprehensive information on the full range of issues relating to building new nuclear reactors in the UK.

The energy review, according to Greenpeace, failed as a "full public consultation" because it did not present clear proposals and information on key issues surrounding a new generation of nuclear power stations, such as dealing with radioactive waste and financial costs.

Sarah North, head of Greenpeace's nuclear campaign, said: "It looks like the Government forgot to tie their shoelaces before starting their farcical dash to dump new nuclear power stations around the country.

"This judicial review should trip them up and force them to re-think their dubious plans to force a dangerous nuclear future on the UK.

"The Government should go back to the drawing board, reconsider its nuclear policy and launch a proper debate on the UK’s future energy needs.

"It's stunningly obvious that there are more efficient, effective, safer and cheaper ways than nuclear power to meet energy demands and cut climate change emissions. A legitimate energy review would have delivered very different conclusions from the one that backed nuclear power."

UNISON are supporting Greenpeace's case. General Secretary Dave Prentis said: "Ploughing ahead with new nuclear power stations is not the answer to meeting the UK's energy needs. UNISON members are up in arms over this decision and very concerned that it was made without a full public consultation."

The case is being heard between 7th and 9th February.

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