Nuclear power `not indispensible’

Nuclear power could still play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, says the commission’s report, but it adds: `We do not, however, accept the arguments of those who hold that it is indispensable.’

And although two of the report’s scenarios envisage an increase in nuclear power usage, it says no new nuclear plants should be built `until the problem of managing nuclear waste has been solved to the satisfaction of both the scientific community and the general public’.

Energy efficiency measures, renewables and the recovery and disposal of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel power stations in deep geological strata could all be viable alternatives. But with all but one of the UK’s nuclear reactors due to close within 25 years, the government should set out `how it intends to prevent this from causing an increase in carbon dioxide emissions’.

The report adds: `there is no foreseeable prospect of some magic source of almost unlimited energy with negligible environmental impact’.