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New nuclear will be too late to stop blackouts, says Liberal Democrat

Government plans for new nuclear stations will not stop blackouts in the next decade, said Liberal Democrat shadow energy and climate change secretary Steve Webb yesterday.

Webb was responding to yesterday's provisional approval by the European Union competition authorities of EDF's takeover of British Energy subject to conditions.

EDF will have to sell one plant that it owns, one plant owned by British Energy as well as committing to sell a minimum amount of electricity to the British wholesale market.

Webb said the government should instead switch its focus from new nuclear to renewables, carbon capture and storage.

“The government is determined to push ahead with new nuclear power stations despite the fact that we won’t see a watt of energy from them for a decade," he said.

“The chief executive of the National Grid has warned that energy shortages could lead to blackouts much sooner than that.

“Ministers should be concentrating on renewable energy, carbon capture technology and energy efficiency, rather than celebrating new nuclear power that won’t arrive until it’s too late.”

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