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Huhne outlines UK's nuclear plan

The Government has refused to authorise the use in the UK of the same type of reactor that engineers in Japan are struggling to fix at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, energy secretary Chris Huhne has revealed.

Huhne outlines UK’s nuclear plan

The Government has refused to authorise the use in the UK of the same type of reactor that engineers in Japan are struggling to fix at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, energy secretary Chris Huhne has revealed.

Huhne confirmed the Government had been offered the same type of nuclear reactor but had refused to take them. He said the coalition’s strategy was to have “diverse supplies” of energy and “not to put all its eggs in one basket”.

The situation in Japan was being taken “extremely seriously” and “safety was absolutely paramount”, he said.

“There are very substantial differences between our situation and the situation in Japan. We actually refused to authorise the reactor type that was used in Japan, the boiling water reactor, when it was proposed to the UK,” he added.

Despite substantial efforts to get the Fukushima plant’s cooling system working once again, the boiling water reactors are still leaking radiation after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck the country on March 11.

Huhne’s comments came as he was questioned in the House of Commons about the safety of existing British plants and Government plans for nuclear energy.

He revealed that he has already asked chief nuclear inspector Dr Mike Weightman to review the safety of nuclear energy in the UK following the disaster but told MPs he did not “anticipate that will lead to enormous changes”.

He also admitted it was “physically possible” to rely entirely on renewable energy and carbon capture storage but the costs would be “very substantial”.

Readers' comments (1)

  • When the costs of renewable energy are said to be high it must be asked where do those costs come from? The majority of all costs can be traced back to energy and thus if the costs are high there is a strong implication that fossil fuels lurk somewhere in the cost chain.
    It is my belief that the solution to our carbon problem must be cheap. Any other solution is a delusion.

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