Union anger over government nuclear decision

PCS Press release
11 Jan 2008

PCS has condemned the government’s decision, in the White paper Meeting the Energy Challenge, giving the green light to the private sector to build a new generation of new nuclear power stations.

The union accused the government of being determined to go ahead with nuclear regardless of the views of people in this country. The union maintained that the government played on people’s fears about climate change to get the response it wanted to a consultation on nuclear that was so biased and misleading that green groups such as Greenpeace and Friend’s of the Earth felt they had no choice but to pull out.

The union went on to argue that the government should be taking tough decisions on carbon emissions and looking at a combination of energy saving, renewables and clean coal technologies that would provide new, safe jobs as well as protecting the environment and tackling climate change.

PCS is deeply concerned by the small print in the White Paper that reveals the get out clause for the private sector. Despite assurances that private companies will also be responsible for decommissioning and waste disposal the government is offering, in the last resort, to bail them out which means that UK workers will ultimately be liable for these costs.

Commenting on the announcement, PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh said: “Not only have the government, in an deplorably anti-democratic move, fixed a public consultation to get the answer they want on the future of nuclear, they are also playing on people’s fears about climate change to get us to believe there is no alternative to going down the nuclear road. This is yesterday’s legacy not today’s answer to our energy needs which should be to invest in renewables and create new, clean jobs that would also help us in tackling climate change.”



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