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Scottish Ministers Reject New Nuclear Power Stations

Scottish Ministers have rejected new nuclear power stations as dangerous and unnecessary.

Energy Minister Jim Mather instead wants the billions of pounds that could be spent on nuclear power reallocated to make Scotland and the UK a world leader in clean, renewable technologies.

Scottish Ministers have rejected new nuclear power stations as dangerous and unnecessary.

Energy Minister Jim Mather instead wants the billions of pounds that could be spent on nuclear power reallocated to make Scotland and the UK a world leader in clean, renewable technologies.

The Scottish Government's submission to the UK Government consultation on nuclear power shows that:

  • Scotland already produces more energy than it consumes and new technologies are far more secure than relying on the finite resources of imported uranium
  • Renewable energy generation produces less carbon emissions than nuclear power
  • No new nuclear power removes the need for transportation and disposal of nuclear waste - and potential terrorist threats
  • The costs of new nuclear power stations are likely to be significantly higher than the UK Government estimates - which will inevitably be passed on to consumers and taxpayers
  • Investing in renewables, energy efficiency and carbon capture would give the UK and Scotland a world lead in these technologies

Jim Mather said:

"We completely reject the development of dangerous, unnecessary and costly new nuclear power stations in Scotland.

"We already have clean, green and reliable alternatives. Scotland has massive renewables potential, as well as significant opportunities for clean fossil-fuel technologies and carbon storage. Harnessing that potential can meet our future energy demands several times over, while tackling climate change.

"Scotland already has the skills and leadership to pursue a clean, low carbon approach. A vibrant and growing energy sector will make a significant contribution to Scotland's prosperity through investment and jobs.

"Perversely, spending billions of pounds to develop nuclear power station could have a huge impact on the research and development of long-term clean energy alternatives. Instead, I want to see investment directed towards the development of green energy technologies in Scotland to give Scotland - and the UK - a world lead.

"Studies show there is more than enough renewable potential in the whole of the UK and especially in Scotland to provide a diverse, low carbon electricity supply, so the argument that we need nuclear is totally redundant. In addition, we believe that renewable energy produces less carbon than nuclear power.

"It is our responsibility to the health and prosperity of future generations to ensure that we oppose new nuclear power, which will impose an increasing burden of toxic radioactive waste for hundreds of years.

"The UK Government has already made its mind to develop new nuclear power stations without properly considering the alternatives - or even allowing the public to consider the alternatives as part of this consultation.

"I believe that our position has the clear support of the majority of MSPs and public opinion. The UK Government now needs to accept the weight of evidence and abandon its disastrously short-sighted and unwanted proposals."

There are currently five Gigawatts of renewable energy projects in Scotland that are either seeking consent or being planned - around twice the existing current renewables capacity in Scotland.