Mr Justice Sullivan yesterday ruled that the government's energy review was not the 'fullest public consultation' and that it had already committed itself to building new nuclear power stations before the energy White Paper was published in 2003.
Sarah North, head of Greenpeace's nuclear campaign which brought the claim, said: 'The government's so-called consultation on nuclear power was obviously a sham and we're pleased that the judge agreed with us.'The government failed to consult adequately and even kept relevant documents to itself. It has now been forced back to the drawing board to conduct a proper and lengthy review,' she said.In a statement, the Department of Trade & Industry said: 'Over the next two decades the UK is likely to need about 25GW of new electricity generation capacity. We need as much of this as possible to be low carbon. Everyone involved in this debate needs to answer how we do that. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. A balanced approach is needed. A greater role for renewables and other low carbon sources allied to a strong focus on energy efficiency is, we believe, the right one.'While this decision does not stop the building of new reactors, it certainly delays the process and re-opens the debate into the future of nuclear power. Confederation of British Industry director-general Richard Lambert said: 'It is not clear how we can meet both our energy needs and our climate change obligations without a continuing role for nuclear power.'