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Livingstone brands nuclear decision the mistake of a generation

The Mayor of London Ken Livingstone today branded the Government's decision to build new nuclear power stations as the mistake of a generation.

"New nuclear power stations will do little to combat climate change, but will poison Britain's future with a legacy of radioactive waste for which the government has advanced no serious strategy for dealing with. The government's own nuclear decommissioning authority has already admitted that the cost of clearing up the last generation of nuclear power stations has soared to £72 billion.

"Climate change is the single biggest threat we face and Britain has to change the way it produces energy if we are to cut greenhouse gas emissions. But nuclear is not the answer.

"There is not a country in the world which has managed to build a nuclear power station without massive public subsidy, and the government are fooling no-one when they say that this time it will be different. The billions of pounds that will be poured into nuclear will divert investment from renewable energy opportunities for which Britain has in an abundance, but which at present are being ignored.

"The response to one environmental disaster - climate change - cannot be to risk creating another in the form of radioactive waste.

"This stands to be the mistake of a generation. After the tremendous lead Britain has given the world by advancing legally binding emissions targets in its Climate Bill, it would be a ghastly mistake for the government to commit us to a nuclear energy policy with astronomical costs and dangers of nuclear contamination for generations to come."

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