DECC ‘misled’ Parliament on need for new nuclear

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) 'misled' MPs by claiming new nuclear was needed to meet the UK's increasing energy needs, according to a new report.

The report Corruption of Governance has been produced for the Association for the Conservation of Energy and campaign group Unlock Democracy.

It accuses the Government department of giving a ‘false summary’ of the evidence in favour of new nuclear power to MPs, ministers and Parliament itself.

Launched, last night (January 31) at the House of Commons, the report is supported by a cross party group of MPs including Green Party leader Caroline Lucas, calls for the case for nuclear to be re-examined in a parliamentary debate.

The report also argues there is ‘no need’ for new nuclear power stations to deliver energy security for the UK.

Report author, Ron Bailey, said: “What has gone on is appalling.

“Ministers and MPs have been fed false information about the need for and the cost of nuclear power.

“The information they have been supplied with is not a correct summary of the evidence held by government.

“They have been fed half-truths and incorrect evidence on the basis of which only one decision was possible – to support more nuclear power stations. But that evidence they were given was false.

“Governance has been corrupted by this process, the question of new nuclear power stations needs to be re-opened and decided by Parliament on the basis of the correct evidence”.

Caroline Lucas MP, added: “Despite claiming it wants an open debate on the UK’s energy future, the Government has already made it clear in the proposals for Electricity Market Reform, for example, and in its dismissive response to the Fukushima disaster that it is betting its money on nuclear.

“Given what we know about the strength of nuclear industry lobbying, there needs to be far greater transparency around the decisions which will determine where our electricity comes from in 10 or 20 years’ time.”

A DECC spokesman said: “We need a range of new energy infrastructure to keep the lights on and reduce our carbon emissions in a secure and affordable way.

“The UK has everything to gain from becoming a leading destination to invest in new nuclear.

“This will come alongside investment in other technologies like renewables, clean coal and gas, and improved energy efficiency.

“We are confident that the Energy National Policy Statements – which will inform decisions on building new infrastructure – are robust documents which took account of all relevant factors.”

Luke Walsh

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