Nuclear aid

On a recent Radio 4 Today programme, John Hutton MP repeated what the government has said on previous occasions — that no subsidies would be provided for new nuclear power stations.


On a recent Radio 4 Today programme, John Hutton MP, business, enterprise and regulatory reform secretary, repeated what the government has said on previous occasions — that no subsidies would be provided for new nuclear power stations.

But in the UK, as in many other countries, nuclear power enjoys a very large subsidy because it is required to pay only a small fraction of the cost of insuring fully against a Chernobyl-style disaster or worse. Details of the size of this subsidy are given in Helen Caldicott’s book Nuclear Power is Not the Answer.

If the government is serious in saying that there would be no subsidies for nuclear power, then it should require the industry to pay the full cost of insuring against disasters, without any limitations on liabilities.

Dr Gerry Wolff, by email