Call for safe nuclear energy

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks has said nuclear energy must be safe and secure if it is to have a defensible role in the future energy mix.

In remarks released ahead of a visit to Manchester, Wicks said, “Robust scrutiny of safety, security and environmental impact would be the prerequisite of going down the road of building new nuclear power stations.”

Wicks will meet safety, security and environmental regulators, environmental groups and nuclear power companies in the formerly self-declared nuclear-free city. The visit is the latest in a nationwide series of Energy Review consultation seminars. He will also visit the University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute, a leader in nuclear power, decommissioning and radioactive waste management research.

Wicks pointed out that nuclear power is an enormously important industry for the North West. It supports an estimated 23,000 jobs in the region and generates expenditure of around £1 billion a year.

“The Energy Review is not about resurrecting the demons and prejudices of the past. Nor is it about a headlong rush into building new nuclear plants. It is about hard evidence, not just on the potential of nuclear, but also of renewables, fossil fuels and greater energy efficiency,” said Wicks.