Nuclear power fears put to court

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Greenpeace served legal papers yesterday accusing the Government of failing to take into account the implications of Japan’s Fukushima disaster in future planning for the building of new nuclear power stations in the UK.

The environmental group submitted a 1,611-page legal submission to the High Court and said it was seeking a judicial review, claiming that Ministers were not taking into account specialist advice on the implications of the disaster on future reactors.

John Sauven, Greenpeace executive director, said: “The tragic events of Fukushima have been a catalyst for governments around the world to look again at the safety and viability of their nuclear plans.

“Instead of following the lead of countries like Germany, our government has recklessly decided to push ahead with new nuclear power without properly taking into account many of the lessons from Fukushima or wider implications for the nuclear industry.

“We believe the Government’s failure to properly consult experts and the public after the Fukushima tragedy amounts to a dangerous attempt to cut corners and carve out voices of concern, in order to keep pushing forward with its favoured technology.

“Following Fukushima, a number of countries decided nuclear power wasn’t worth the risk or increased costs and focused on safer, clean renewable technologies.

“Instead in Britain, despite election promises, the coalition Government is planning hundreds of millions of pounds more in hidden subsidies for the nuclear industry and dragging its heels on creating the green jobs and growth we need.”

Greenpeace accused the Government of “unlawfully” pressing ahead with plans for new nuclear reactors at eight sites in England and Wales without waiting to take into account relevant considerations arising from the Fukushima incident.