Is there a nuclear future for Britain? Prime Minister Tony Blair has said a review of the UK’s energy needs will consider the creation of new atomic power stations. In a speech in London he said Britain was facing a looming energy gap:
“By around 2020, the UK is likely to have seen decommissioning of coal and nuclear plants that together generate over 30% of today’s electricity. Some of this will be replaced with renewables, but not all of it can,” he said. Environmentalists have reacted angrily to the announcement. Two activists staged a protest at the speech venue forcing Blair to move to an adjacent room to make his address.
Nuclear energy has a negative image in the UK, with 40 of Blair’s own parliamentary colleagues signing a motion rejecting the idea of building new stations.
The Prime Minister has promised to make a firm decision by the middle of next year. It could influence the debate in other countries considering the same energy issues.