Last updated: 2 August 2006
Here's a wide-ranging selection of news stories on the nuclear debate.
Nuclear: recent stories
Photo credit: Newspaper by Ian Britton from FreeFoto.com.
Blair gives nuclear go-ahead with Energy Review announcement - 11 July 2006 onwards
- Nuclear power plants get go-ahead, BBC News, 11 July. The go-ahead has been given for a new wave of UK nuclear power stations. Industry secretary Alistair Darling told MPs nuclear power needed to be part of the mix of energy supply for the UK over the next 40 years.
- At-a-glance: Energy review, BBC News, 11 July. The key points of the UK energy review and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling's statement to MPs.
- Government backs small and green, BBC News, 11 July. Energy security and greenhouse gas cuts depend on raising efficiency and boosting renewables, the government's energy review concludes.
- Darling gives nuclear assurance, BBC News, 11 July. The Secretary of State for Industry says the UK energy review will not force Scotland to build nuclear power stations.
- Business welcomes N-power plans, BBC News, 11 July. Business leaders applaud the government for "grasping the nuclear nettle" in its plans to deal with UK energy needs.
- How nuclear got back on agenda, BBC News, 11 July. The government has committed itself to supporting a new generation of nuclear power stations, but it was a long road.
- UK fails to go for low carbon future, Friends of the Earth press release, 11 July. Today's Energy Review is a huge missed opportunity, Friends of the Earth said today. The environmental campaign group also warned that that building new nuclear power plants would be "unsafe, uneconomic and unnecessary".
- Response to the energy review, Greenpeace, 11 July. Reacting to the publication of the Government's energy review, Greenpeace executive director Stephen Tindale said: "Tony Blair is fixated with getting new nuclear power stations built, and that means anything substantial in this review that supports clean green energy will be fatally undermined as long as Blair remains Prime Minister."
Blair's nuclear "back with a vengeance" speech - 16 May 2006 onwards
- Blair in nuclear plants warning, Glasgow Record, 17 May. Blair has warned the Scottish Executive that Britain's energy crisis has to be addressed everywhere, "including Scotland".
- Greenpeace reaction to Blair's speech, Greenpeace, 17 May. Stephen Tindale calls Blair "recklessly incompetent".
- CND Blasts Blair's Disastrous Orientation on Nuclear Power, CND press release, 17 May. Kate Hudson of CND says nuclear power makes neither economic nor environmental sense.
- CND calls for open date on Nuclear Power, CND press release, 15 May. The issues must be properly and fairly debated.
- Blair's 'nuclear-fixated' energy review branded a 'sham', 24dash.com, 17 May. Critics attack Blair's pro-nuclear speech.
- Energy review was a smokescreen, Conservative Party news release, 17 May. Shadow environment secretary Alan Duncan points out what many have long suspected.
- Roche disappointed with Blair nuclear comments, RTE Ireland, 17 May. Irish energy minister Dick Roche vows to fight Blair's nuclear plans.
- Ex-minister hits out at nuclear, BBC News, 17 May. Ex-Labour environment minister Elliot Morley has rejected the case for a new generation of nuclear plants after Tony Blair indicated his backing.
- Blair nuclear speech under fire, BBC News, 17 May. Scottish anti-nuclear campaigners attack Blair's pro-nuclear speech.
- Blair pushes nuclear button, Guardian, 17 May. Blair says failure to act would be "a dereliction of my duty".
- Anger over Blair's nuclear comments, FoE press release, 16 May. Friends of the Earth director Tony Juniper said: "Increasingly it looks like the energy consultation has been a complete sham".
- Blair backs nuclear power plans, BBC News, 16 May. Prime Minister Tony Blair has given his strongest signal yet that he backs the building of a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK.
Reactions to the energy review consultation - 24 January 2006 onwards
- Wind power ahead of predictions, BBC News, 27 March. Wind turbines are being installed much faster than predicted.
- Interview: Peter Hain, New Statesman, 27 March. There are also signs that Hain has broken from the Downing Street line on nuclear power, having already written a submission to the Energy Review urging a non-nuclear solution for Northern Ireland.
- The future of coal in Wales, icWales, 22 March. The Welsh coal industry is pushing hard for a new generation of coal power.
- Hain breaks ranks to oppose nuclear power, Independent, 19 March. Peter Hain becomes the first cabinet minister to express public doubts about a return to nuclear power.
- Top UK advisers say 'No' to nuclear power, New Scientist, 6 March. About the Sustainable Development Commission's report against nuclear power.
- No quick fix from nuclear power, BBC News, 6 March. Building new nuclear plants is not the answer to tackling climate change or securing Britain's energy supply, a government advisory panel (the Sustainable Development Commission) has reported.
- Nuclear power, Boris Johnson's blog, 2nd March. The Conservative MP for Henley on Thames tells us: "We need nuclear power and a new generation of boffins" and sparks much debate from his readers.
- Think solar not nuclear for the energy of the future, say UK scientists, PhySorg, 2nd March. Solar rather than nuclear energy should be the UK government's priority in planning future energy production, according to scientists.
- Green Party challenges push to nuclear power, Guardian, 28 February. The Green party today published a rebuttal of the case for a new generation of nuclear power stations, as the deadline loomed for the government's energy review.
- City prepares to clean up on nuclear, Telegraph, 26 February 2006: Investors are positioning themselves for the most lucrative - and least risky - opportunities.
- Minister dismisses opponents of N-power as 'fundamentalists', Scotsman, 23 February 2006: Scots politicians are entitled to their view but Wicks wants a "grown-up debate".
- EDF in talks to build British nuclear plants, Herald Tribune, 21 February 2006: Paris-based Electricite de France, Europe's largest utility, is in "informal" talks with British Energy and others about building new nuclear plants in Britain.
- Britain should follow Sweden, not the US, Green Party press release, 8 February 2006: Following reports of Sweden's plans to become the world's first oil free economy, Green Party Principal Speaker Keith Taylor today spoke of his admiration for the idea and said Britain should also become an example to the world.
- US budget calls for building of new nuclear plants, FT, 7 February 2006: The US administration is proposing a nuclear resurgence and export of nuclear waste to developing countries.
- Coal back in energy mix after cleaning up its act, Scotsman, 7 February 2006: Coal's dirty past could be about to change, as it fights back to win its place in the energy mix through the Coal Industry Society's Clean, Green Coal Campaign.
- Nuclear power a waste of public money, icWales, 1 February 2006: Ceredigion MP Mark Williams argues that there are cheaper, more effective and safer ways of generating energy.
- Renewable energy gets second wind on AIM, Sunday Times, 29 January 2006: Wind, wave and other technologies are capitalising on fears over gas and oil supplies, writes Angus McCrone. And shrewd investors are reaping the benefits.
- Coal cleans up to be the king again, Sunday Times, 29 January 2006: Reserves of coal are huge. Now the race is on to find ways of burning it without too many emissions.
- Sea energy to power Britain, The Observer, 29 January 2006: Waves and tides could generate 20 per cent of electricity and replace nuclear fuel, says a new report.
- The Carbon Challenge, Sunday Times, 29 January 2006: How to reduce carbon emissions. An article helpfully sponsored by the ever-so-green BP. Thanks BP.
- Government set to reap profits of worldwide interest in nuclear power, Sunday Herald, 29 January 2006: The publicly owned UK firm Westinghouse (builder of nuclear power plants) has sold for more than double the expected price as other countries consider building more nuclear power capacity..
- Alan Johnson: This job's a laugh even when your enemies go nuclear, Independent, 29 January 2006: Profile of DTI boss.
- Energy gap: Crisis for humanity?, BBC News, 26 January 2006: It is perhaps too early to talk of an energy "crisis". But take your pick from terms like "serious concern" and "major issue" and you will not be far from the positions which analysts are increasingly adopting.
- Nuclear waste experts quell hopes of nuclear revival, Friends of the Earth press release, 26 January 2006: Proposals for new nuclear power stations should now be "killed off" said Friends of the Earth. The environment group was responding to the publication of the draft conclusions of a committee of Government experts which said its report, due this summer, will "not solve" the problem of storing waste.
- Britain squares up to its energy challenges, Financial Times, 24 January 2006: Pro-nuclear commentary from the FT, which ignores renewable energy and energy efficiency entirely.
- Energy review opens door for revival of coal, claims minister, The Scotsman, 24 January 2006: Ministers yesterday paved the way for a "renaissance" of the coal industry as they highlighted the risks of putting Britain at the mercy of unpredictable foreign regimes for energy supplies.
- Mind the energy gap - experts query the need for nuclear, Independent, 24 January 2006: A more doubting look at the energy review.
- Nuclear fears as energy review is launched, Guardian, 24 January 2006: The government yesterday launched a debate over energy policy which critics fear could herald the construction of a new generation of nuclear power stations.
Energy review consultation announced - 23 January 2006
- No obstacles to atomic option, says 'nuclear neutral' energy minister, The Guardian, 23 January 2006: Energy minister, Malcolm Wicks, believes there are virtually no practical obstacles to a new generation of nuclear power stations being built - although he is adamant no decision has yet been made on whether to give them the go-ahead.
- Decision time on nuclear power, BBC News, 23 January 2006: It is time to decide to "close... or open the door" to nuclear power, Trade Secretary Alan Johnson has said.
- Government bypassing democratic debate on nuclear power, Green Party press release, 23 January 2006: News that the Health & Safety Executive are to assess the potential role of 'pre-licensing' for nuclear power stations condemned.
- Mixed reaction to launch of UK energy review, Scotland Today, 23 January 2006: There has been a mixed reaction across Scotland to the launch of a UK energy review.
- Reactor policy to be made after 3-month public airing, Financial Times, 23 January 2006: Industry vested interests are pushing for a speedy conclusion of the government energy review.
- Energy review simply offering Blair political cover for his nuclear views - Baker, Lib Dem press release, 23 January 2006: This review is simply a retrospective way of justifying the Prime Minister's wish to build a new generation of nuclear power stations, something the earlier white paper did not recommend.
- Greenpeace reaction to energy review, Greenpeace press release, 23 January 2006: Nuclear power is a serious diversion in the wrong direction from energy efficiency and decentralisation.
- Energy review needs clean and safe solutions, Friends of the Earth press release, 18 January 2006: Friends of the Earth says that new nuclear reactors are not needed and has identified 15 sustainable energy solutions which could meet much of our energy needs and make the UK a world leader in developing a low-carbon, nuclear-free economy.
The debate rumbles on - January 2006
- What they don't want you to know about the coming oil crisis, Independent, 20 January 2006: Former Greenpeace man Jeremy Leggett has seen the future - and it isn't nuclear.
- Greens concerned at biased portrayal of nuclear issue, Green Party, 19 January 2006: Media reports have misrepresented public opposition in a new poll.
- Call for UK nuclear clean-up plan, BBC News, 19 January 2006: Nirex, the government's nuclear waste advisory body, is arguing that old waste from existing nuclear stations must not be dumped on future generations.
- UK Green Lobby Girds for Nuclear Battle Over Energy, Planet Ark, 18 January 2006: At stake is not just the future mix of electric power sources from nuclear to fossil and wind, but the whole structure of the country's centralised power generation system.
- Nuclear energy too uneconomic, BBC News, 17 January 2006: Liberal Democrats say no more nuclear power stations should be built, as they are "hopelessly uneconomic" and would create "vast quantities of waste".
- Nuclear power cannot tackle climate change, Guardian, 17 January 2006: Energy efficiency far more important, expert says; standard of debate in UK condemned as abysmal.
- Britains accept but still oppose nuclear power, BBC News, 17 January 2006: A new poll shows 54% of people would accept nuclear power as a solution to climate change. But in general, more people were against nuclear power than in favour. Nearly 80% thought renewable technologies and energy efficiency were better ways of tackling global warming.
- Blair sets out to sell his nuclear power policy to the public, Independent, 14 January 2006: According to the Independent, Tony Blair will begin preparing public opinion today for a new generation of nuclear power stations.
- Greenpeace video of terror attack is condemned, Independent, 14 January 2006: A short Greenpeace video showing a plane attacking the Sizewell nuclear power station has been attacked by nuclear industry figures.
Reaction to Blair's speech and the energy review announcement - December 2005
As expected, blanket media coverage of the "reopening nuclear debate". This is a small but representative selection of the coverage.
- Blair's nuclear winter, Carbon Free News, 1 December 2005: An alternative-energy perspective on the nuclear debate.
- Our greed for energy will be our downfall, New Statesman, 1 December 2005: Nuclear or no nuclear, we will not solve the problem of supply, but we can begin to deal with our own increasingly precarious needs.
- Briefing: Issues fuelling the nuclear power debate, Financial Times, 30 November 2005: Balanced look at the main issues.
- Nuclear must be part of Britain's energy mix, Telegraph, 30 November 2005: Nuclear is "clean" and "proven", claims the Telegraph.
- Salmond's Double Whammy on Labour's Nuclear Plans, Scottish National Party press release, 30 November 2005: Commenting on Tony Blair's announcement that he will open the door for a generation of nuclear power stations, SNP Leader Alex Salmond lambasted both his decision and the weakness of Jack McConnell in standing up to Whitehall decisions.
- Anger as Blair paves way for nuclear power, Daily Record, 30 November 2005: Uproar and a backlash for Blair
- We need all our energy to face the greatest task ever, Glasgow Herald, 30 November 2005: How to respond to climate change without nuclear power?
- Sceptical public could be biggest obstacle to new reactors, Guardian, 30 November 2005: The energy review is not just a referendum on nuclear power and certainly not a bogus consultation on the future of the atomic industry, the government insisted yesterday.
- Blair reignites nuclear arguments, BBC News, 29 November 2005: A fierce debate on nuclear power begins after Tony Blair launches a review which could lead to new nuclear plants.
- Head-to-head: Nuclear power, BBC Today programme, 29 November 2005: Transcript of a debate between Andrew Simms (anti-nuclear) and Bernard Ingham (pro-nuclear).
- Nuclear plans could generate rift, BBC News, 29 November 2005: The potential growth of nuclear power looks set to create political tensions in Scotland.
- Greenpeace disrupts Blair's nuclear speech, Guardian, 30 November 2005: More on the Greenpeace protest.
Government review announced - November 2005
- Energy policy sparks opposition, BBC News, 29 November 2005: Tony Blair's plans to reconsider nuclear energy policy is set to spark another heated debate.
- Energy review: a secure and clean energy future, DTI press release, GNN, 29 November 2005: Official announcement of the new DTI energy review.
- Blair opens new nuclear options, BBC News, 29 November 2005: In a speech to the CBI, Prime Minister Tony Blair has launched a review of UK energy needs which could pave the way for a new generation of nuclear power stations.
- Fight back begins against Blair's nuclear plans: Greenpeace climbers scupper Blair's nuclear announcement, Greenpeace UK press release, 29 November 2005: Greenpeace today launched the fight back against a new nuclear era in the UK - by preventing Tony Blair's planned pro nuclear speech at the CBI annual conference from going ahead.
- Energy review must pave the way for clean and safe energy, FoE press release, 29 November 2005: Media briefing with details of energy-efficiency options the government has underplayed or not yet considered.
- Nuclear power a dangerous distraction, CND press release, 29 November 2005: The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed the government?s energy review. But it condemned the logic of government and industry, which appear to favour the least safe, unsustainable nuclear option.
- How much energy do we have?, George Monbiot's column, The Guardian, 29 November 2005: Are there enough renewables to keep the lights on? The answer will be comforting to no one.
Media discussion before the energy review - November 2005
- Could the climate be changing for Britain's nuclear option?, Glasgow Herald, 28 November 2005: A look at the reopening debate.
- Now for Blair's dodgy nuclear dossier, Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times, 27 November 2005: The decision to go with nuclear is already made; but how to bring the public on board?
- New tax may fund nuclear stations, Jonathan Leake, Sunday Times, 27 November 2005: Sir David King thinks consumers should subsidize the profits of nuclear investors.
- Global warming scuppers Blair's nuclear power plans, Rob Edwards, Sunday Herald, 27 November 2005: Irony of ironies, proposed nuclear power sites could be washed away by sea-level rises.
- Nuclear power? Don't dismiss it, Henry Porter, Observer, 27 November 2005: Decisions about long-term energy policy must be taken now.
- Blair advisor gives glowing endorsement for nuclear future, EDIE, 25 November 2005: Sir David King is pushing for nuclear again.
- Over-reacting, Schnews, 25 November 2005: Just when you thought it could get no worse, Neo Labour goes nuclear.
- Blair and the Liaison Committee: Everything You Feared Was True Is True The Friday Thing, 25 November 2005.
- Gas-price allegations: both sides cannot be right, Guardian Leader, 24 November 2005.
- A big chill will heat up energy debate, Richard D. North, Telegraph, 24 November 2005: Broad discussion of energy policy.
- At last: Blair seems to see that our future is nuclear, Simon Jenkins, Guardian 23 November 2005. Nuclear as the quick-fix to climate problems... but isn't it a quick and dirty fix?.
- Meacher criticizes nuclear plan, BBC News, 23 November 2005. Ex-environment minister Michael Meacher has told Tony Blair it was "patently untrue" that nuclear power was needed for the UK to meet emissions targets.
- CND launches case against new generation of nuclear power stations, CND press release, 22 November 2005. Nuclear is not the answer to climate change; it's dirty and dangerous.
- Nuclear power option "deplorable", Green Party press release, 22 November 2005. The nuclear power industry has failed us. Instead of providing cheap, clean energy it has cost the taxpayer millions in subsidies as well as causing concern over safety, pollution and the threat of a terrorist attack.
- Blair risks MPs revolt over new nuclear stations, Telegraph, 22 November 2005. PM's spokesman denies that Blair has already plumped for nuclear.
- Blair says nuclear choice needed, BBC News, 22 November 2005. Tony Blair says "controversial and difficult" decisions will have to be taken.
- Opinion cartoon, Telegraph 22 November 2005.
- PM 'convinced' of nuclear future, BBC News, 21 November 2005. Tony Blair is believed to be convinced over the need for nuclear power to tackle the UK energy crisis.
- Blair must not back new nuclear power plants, FoE press release, 21 November 2005. Includes ten reasons for not supporting nuclear.
- Blair urges common nuclear future, EDI UK, 28 October 2005. Tony Blair has give the clearest indication yet of his belief in nuclear power to solve the energy needs of the future.
- Poll reveals majority oppose building of new UK nuclear weapon, Greenpeace UK press release, 25 October 2005.
- Why nuclear power is not the answer, FoE press release, 28 September 2005.
- CND condemns plans to privatise nuclear power stations, CND press release, 30 September 2005. CND reacted with alarm today to the news that the government is likely to approve BNFL's plans to sell off operations at Sellafield and other major nuclear plants to the private sector.
- British energy - huge losses for year, Greenpeace UK press release, 27 September 2005.
- Greenpeace demands NIREX comes clean on waste disposal plans, Greenpeace UK press release, 10 June 2005. Greenpeace today called on the Government's nuclear waste agency, NIREX, to 'come clean' on where they really want to dump radioactive waste in Britain after the agency published lists drawn up in the 1980's of potential dump sites.
- The nuclear charm offensive, New Statesman, 23 May 2005. We are all being taken in by a carefully planned public relations strategy. Its mission: to push nuclear power back on the political agenda, rebranded as the new "green" alternative.
Nuclear: older stories
- George Monbiot's nuclear archive, Monbiot.com: George Monbiot regularly writes about the nuclear issue. His website has a selection of interesting and provocative articles dating back to 1997.
- Nuke bomb 'plot', Sunday Mirror, 16 October 2005: Papers found in a car linked with a July-7 bombing suspect contained detailed information about British nuclear sites.
- Nuclear analyst highlights risks of terror attack at nuclear installations, Nuclear Free Local Authorities press release, 7 March 2005. An international expert in nuclear safety and security gives a presentation at a conference on nuclear energy to show how nuclear installations could serve as pre-deployed radiological weapons for terrorists.
- UK accused over Sellafield pollution, Guardian, 2003: A 2003 Guardian news story in which Norway accused Britain of ruining its lucrative Arctic lobster business by failing to stop radioactive discharges from Sellafield.
- Britain's nuclear danger, The Guardian, 30 June 2002: Britain has no idea of how to deal with dangerous nuclear waste, yet keeps producing more of it says Greenpeace campaigner Pete Roche.
- Nuclear power: time to end the experiment, by Peter Bunyard and Pete Roche, Sanctuary Asia: As we enter the 21st century, we carry with us an outmoded, dangerous technology that has left a legacy of irretrievable contamination, and a trail of disease, death and runaway costs. Nuclear power is clearly no longer economic, if it ever was..
- Sellafield "bomb-factory" go-ahead not unlawful, FoE press release, 15 November 2001: A court challenge to Sellafield fails.
- Government in court over Sellafield plutonium plant, FoE press release, 8 Nov 2001. A high-court challenge is mounted.
- Sellafield plans massive increases in discharges of nuclear waste to sea A press release from the Greenpeace archive, 2001.
- Should Sellafield be shut down?, BBC News, 2001: A message-board discussion between BBC website readers.
- Irish PM steps up Sellafield campaign, BBC News, 2001. Environmental campaigners have welcomed calls by Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern for Sellafield's controversial Mox plant to be scrapped.
- Sellafield leak reveals Nirex on the rocks, FoE press release, 1997.
- Greenpeace blockades Downing Street with tonnes of coal, Greenpeace press release, 14 November 2005.
- Greenpeace volunteers found guilty for installing solar panels on Prescott's roof, Greenpeace UK press release, 3 November 2005.
- The battle for clean energy in somerset continues, Greenpeace UK press release, 26 October 2005.