Huhne orders UK nuclear power review

Energy minister Chris Huhne last night held crisis talks with top-ranking British nuclear experts to assess the impact of the Japanese nuclear disaster on the UK's power supplies.

The meeting in London saw ministers meet with representatives from the nuclear industry and led to plans to create two public reports on the current state and future of Britain’s nuclear industry.

The move comes only days after the German Government ordered a review of its nuclear industry.

Speaking after the talks, Mr Huhne said: “We should not rush to judgment, it is important we have the full facts at our disposal.

“Safety is, and will, continue to be the number one priority for existing nuclear sites and for any new power stations.”

Mr Huhne has ordered the UK’s chief nuclear inspector Dr Mike Weightman to write the two reports.

The first, an interim report to be completed by mid-May this year, and a final report within six months will both be made public.

Mr Weightman, who also addressed the meeting, said: “This is a difficult time for Japan and we are ready to provide support as necessary.

“We must establish the facts on these unprecedented events and determine if there are lessons to be learned for the UK, to add to our very robust safety standards and arrangements.

“My report will be public, independent, evidence based, comprehensive, wide in scope and based on the best technical advice, consulting nationally and internationally with colleagues and organisations who, like us, have the safety and security of people and society uppermost in our minds.”

Greenpeace executive director, John Sauven, said: “It is welcome news that this review will be longer and wider in scope than was originally reported.

“The approval process for new nuclear power station should be suspended while we await its findings.”

Luke Walsh

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