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Renewable energy sources not a solution, says Ingham

GOVERNMENT EFFORTS to cut carbon emissions will fail unless nuclear electricity generating capacity is increased, pro-nuclear power campaigners claimed this week.

Alternative energy sources such as wind and wave power are unlikely to make up for reductions in coal fired power capacity as the Government tries to cut greenhouse gases, claimed Supporters of Nuclear Energy chairman Sir Bernard Ingham.

Formerly press secretary to Margaret Thatcher when she was Prime Minister, Ingham set up SONE last June. He claimed that renewable energy is uneconomic and that facilities such as wind farms were hard to justify at planning inquiries.

Ingham argued that privatisation of publicly owned nuclear power generation and fuel reprocessing companies BNFL and UKAEA would improve their efficiency.

This would increase the cost effectiveness of nuclear power. He said public ownership was preventing nuclear power companies from competing effectively with fossil fuel generators.

His comments come as management consultant KPMG prepares a report on the future of BNFL for the Treasury and the Department of Trade & Industry. Options are understood to include privatisation.

Decommissioning of the Windscale nuclear power station is to enter its second phase next month. The six year project involves removing the reactor. BNFL Magnox is carrying out final core tests and commissioning the remote- controlled plant being used for the job.

Disassembly of the reactor will start in April. Work is scheduled for completion in 2006.

(see feature, page14)

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