The Nuclear Option
Environmental groups fear that the current energy review is little more than a mouthpiece for our very autocratic prime minister, and that its widely predicted advocacy to build more nuclear power stations pre-empts a proper debate, both public and in parliament.
There is ample reason for public
distrust in ‘atoms for peace’. If you
need nuclear weapons, you need nuclear power plants to produce the
plutonium. From the earliest days, when
the public were told that nuclear energy had the potential to produce
electricity ‘too cheap to meter’, the plutonium resulting from the running of
the plant was secretly conveyed to the US to make nuclear warheads. In his diaries, Tony Benn tells of his sense
of betrayal when years later he learnt that this had happened, at the very time
when he had been minister for energy!
Nuclear power plants are the first step towards nuclear weapons, and the
If other nations are to follow
Of particular concern is the indication that the government is planning to bypass the public inquiry process, presumably to make the investment option more attractive to the private sector. The report, which is clearly looking to develop a planning inquiry framework which avoids public participation, comments: 'We are seeking views on a policy framework in which national strategic and regulatory issues are most appropriately discussed through processes other than the public inquiry.'
CND condemns this latest attempt by government to
exclude popular participation and discussion over matters crucial to