Greens reject Nuclear subsidies and community "bribes"
The Green Party has rejected Government plans both to "bribe" local communities to accept highly dangerous nuclear waste and to give an enormous indefinite subsidy to nuclear power operators. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/06/12/eanuclear112.xml
The Government plan is to allow operators of both existing and new nuclear power plants to hive off their responsibility for taking care of the waste that they produce, in return for a fixed payment. But the Greens are pointing to the huge financial risk and burden to taxpayers this will cause given the uncertainties and very long term nature of nuclear waste storage.
Cllr. Rupert Read, Eastern Region Green Party Lead MEP candidate in next year's Euro-elections, said:
"At a time when the Government is failing to balance its books and ordinary citizens are having to tighten their belts, it is outrageous that the fat-cats who profit from the unsustainable nuclear industry are to be effectively written a blank cheque."
"Nuclear power is uneconomic. No private company has tried to build a nuclear power plant for more than a decade despite the de-regulated energy market making it easier for them to do so. The reason is the open-ended cost of cleaning up nuclear waste. Now the Government is proposing to take much of that cost off their hands. This is an outrageous, barely-disguised subsidy and breaks Labour Government pledges made only very recently that there would no subsidies to new nuclear build."
The Greens are also rejecting the Government's move to "bribe" local communities to take nuclear waste.
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn claimed in parliament that facilities would be "safe, secure and environmentally acceptable".
Cllr. Rupert Read said
"This is more greenwash from a discredited Government. The nuclear waste problem cannot be solved because of the very long duration of the radioactivity from some of the wastes. The Government can try to bribe communities now, but if councils accept, it will be generation after generation of people to come who will have to live with the danger of having highly radioactive material on their doorstep. Green Councillors will oppose any such moves."
Eastern Region already has 2 nuclear power sites at Sizewell and Bradwell and these sites are expected to be in the front line for yet more nuclear reactors.
East Anglia has also been shortlisted in the past for radioactive waste sites. There is a danger of the Thetford area being chosen as a site for the burial of nuclear waste, because of it having been identified previously as a prime potential site.