FORMER ICE President Mark Whitby last week convinced pro-nuclear graduate and student engineers to vote against building a new generation of nuclear power stations during a debate at Great George Street this week.
Initially 46% of the audience was pro-nuclear with 30% against and 24% undecided.
But after hearing the debate between Whitby and pronuclear Taylor Woodrow customer director Keith Waller, the vote shifted.
Just 30% remained in favour of a new set of nuclear power stations while 48% voted against and 20% remained undecided.
Waller argued that nuclear power should form part of a balanced energy policy, but Whitby stated that a decision on the need for nuclear could be delayed. 'We have got enough gas to keep us going in order to see what green fuels work before we make a decision on nuclear, ' he said.
'The guys running our current nuclear power stations believe they could go on for another 60 years, so we don't need to make a decision on the new power plants today.' Last week the ICE told the Department for Trade & Industry's energy review that nuclear power should provide 20 to 25% of generation for the UK's energy mix (News last week).
To reach this figure, sites should be pre-licensed and government should pay regulatory and planning costs, it said.
The Government launched a review of its energy policy in January.
The outcome is expected to include a decision on whether nuclear energy should continue to form part of the UK's generating capacity.
The 2003 energy white paper failed to tackle this issue.