New minister warns over nuclear black hole

The SNP have seized on a warning by the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary that Britain faces a £4bn black hole in nuclear
decommissioning costs over the next four years. The black hole is
equivalent to wiping out one-sixth of the overall cuts in public
spending identified by the Treasury last week.

SNP Westminster Energy spokesperson, Mike Weir MP, said the situation validated the Scottish Government's energy strategy of capitalising on Scotland's vast clean, green energy potential.

Mr Weir said:

"The shocking scale of this decommissioning black hole must put an end to plans for new nuclear stations once and for all. At a time when the Treasury is cutting spending across departments, an amount equivalent to one-sixth of these cuts is being poured into nuclear dumps.

"That this warning came from the Secretary of State himself is in
sharp contrast to the previous cheerleading for the nuclear industry
of the last labour government.

"Chris Huhne's warning underlines why the UK government must follow the example of the Scottish Government and concentrate on creating a green energy future rather than the danger, cost and worry of new nuclear stations.

"Right now Scotland is capitalising on our vast clean, green energy
potential, instead of throwing money away with dirty, dangerous and unreliable nuclear power.

"The reality is that the UK Government is bogged down in nuclear
planning issues and making NO progress and creating NO jobs, while the Scottish Government is getting on with the job of investing in the technologies of the future, and supporting thousands of energy jobs.

"Scotland can generate up to ten times our peak electricity demand
from clean, green energy.  Scotland is ahead of the game and ahead of our targets on renewables - which is great news for Scotland's economy.  And we are making an international contribution to tackling global warming with our world-leading Climate Change Act - which is great news for the environment.

"With 25 per cent of Europe's wind energy potential, including massive off shore as well as onshore wind power capabilities, a quarter of Europe's tidal resource, and huge potential from clean coal and carbon capture, these are the real economic and employment opportunities for Scotland.  The Scottish Government has already announced plans to take advantage of these unique strengths by creating 16,000 green energy related jobs in Scotland over the next decade.

"The view of the Scottish Government and indeed Scotland's Parliament as a whole on nuclear is absolutely clear.  Scotland simply doesn't want or need dangerous and unnecessary new nuclear power stations, with soaring decommissioning costs and the unresolved problem of storage of radioactive waste that burdens future generations for thousands of years."

Detail of Chris Huhne's warning in The Guardian, can be found here:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/jun/01/chris-huhne-black-hole-nuclear-power-budget