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Britain's looming energy crisis

General Election

Howard, Kennedy and Quinn all pin their hopes on renewable energy sources to solve the looming crisis, at least in the short term.

Kennedy is against nuclear power for the immediate future and refuses to replace ageing nuclear power stations.

'Nuclear fission is a relatively mature technology which is less likely than newer technologies to make rapid technical and economic advances, ' he says.

'We therefore advocate phasing out and not replacing existing nuclear stations when they reach the end of their safe and economic operating lives, ' he adds.

Having said that, Kennedy promises to promote new technologies 'such as clean coal technology and new developments in nuclear fission', not expecting these to come on stream until after 2020.

Howard and Quinn steer clear of firm policy commitments to nuclear energy, although it is generally thought that the Conservatives are more pro-nuclear than anti. Quinn will only say that 'decisions on the commercial future of nuclear energy are also being considered by the Department of Trade & Industry along with the nuclear operators'.

Instead he makes much of Labour's achievements in awarding grants to householders who install wind turbines and urges engineers to get more involved in the debate over future energy resources.

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