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Nuclear Energy

Japan disaster may mean no new nuclear plants for Britain

A rise in safety standards and costs could see plans to build ten new reactors in the UK axed.

THE FUTURE FOR nuclear power in Britain could be in doubt after the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister said new power plants would cost too much in the wake of the Japanese tsunami.

Nick Clegg says that a rise in safety standards and a probable review into existing nuclear plants means that the ensuing costs could cripple plans for future reactors.

The Guardian reports on Clegg’s comments that the coalition government would be unable to approve the public subsidies needed, and that finding private investors is unlikely. The UK government has provisional plans to build at least 10 new nuclear reactors, according to The Telegraph.

The Tories insist that nuclear power is essential for the future of energy provision in the UK, while Clegg says the Liberal Democrats changed their long-held opposition to nuclear power when entering the Coalition on two conditions:

They [the new power stations] have to be safe, and we cannot let the taxpayer be ripped off, which is what they always have been in the past

Mr Clegg has reiterated that there will be ‘no rowing back from the Coalition agreement’ on the right to halt the provision of public funds to build new reactors.

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