Ritchie critical of British Government nuclear plans

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Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie has criticised the UK government’s decision to secure funding for NuGen to build three new reactors at Moorside near Sellafield. Speaking to Newry Times, Ritchie said, “The UK government is wrong to commit to this project, which will be the largest new nuclear project in Europe. “The nearby Sellafield plant should be a reminder of the true cost of nuclear power. The decommissioning of the Sellafield plant continues to haunt UK public finances and is something that we are all still paying for. “The strike price that nuclear energy companies will be granted is likely to be nearly twice the standard cost of energy and there remain serious questions over waste storage and decommissioning,” she insisted. “This has been billed as a “co-operation agreement” but is little more than sop to an industry which is struggling to secure funding. Indeed just last month it was revealed that leading nuclear investor Areva, who are supporting the project at Hinkley, is having severe financial difficulties after their two latest projects – in France and Finland – went over budget. “People in Ireland have to live on the doorstep of this plant and have never been properly consulted on this or previous programmes. Given how close this plant will be to the east coast of Ireland, I hope that the Irish government will make representations to the British government on the issue. Ritchie added, “I would like to see the British government committed to investing in truly renewable sources of energy instead of throwing more money at an industry that remains unsafe and uneconomic.”
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