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Nuclear power wins heated energy debate

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NUCLEAR POWER won an overwhelming thumbs up from engineers and the public in Plymouth this week following a debate organised by the ICE's South West region.

The motion This house believes that nuclear power should be a significant contributor to the UK's future energy supply was carried by 54 votes to 24, with only four abstentions, after a passionate debate on each side of the motion.

Speaking for the motion were British Nuclear Fuels head of energy Richard Mason, and Jacobs Babtie technical director, nuclear division, Justin Goldberg.

They argued that nuclear power was a vital and safe part of the UK's energy mix. They said that unless a new generation of power stations came on line the nation would struggle to meet its growing energy demand and fail to meet its carbon reduction targets.

Speaking against the motion were Friends of the Earth campaign co-ordinator Mike Burkin and NCE editor Antony Oliver.

They argued that nuclear technology had served the nation well for 50 years, but that it was time to focus effort and investment on finding the next generation of clean power generation. They said nuclear fission power stations were flawed and dangerous.

The lively debate was chaired by former ICE energy board chairman Robert Freer.

A mixture of engineers and members of the public attended the debate at Plymouth University.

INFOPLUS Visit www. nceplus. co. uk to take part in NCE's online questionnaire on the future of energy supply in the UK.

Results and comments will be published in the new year.

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