Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023


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‘Absolutely clear’ Sturgeon set for warpath with Boris Johnson over nuclear power pledge

3 min read

SNP to discuss nuclear weapons if independent says host

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Ministers are exploring options to build more reactors across the country in a bid to help the UK to curb its carbon emissions and help reach net zero by 2050. The UK Government argues the power source has a key role to play in reducing Britain’s reliance on fossil fuels and exposure to volatile gas prices.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is also poised to support 16 ‘mini’ nuclear reactors across the UK which will be able to generate 14 per cent of the power of a conventional plant.

But the Scottish Greens today joined with the SNP to oppose plans for further nuclear power plans north of the border.

The SNP-led Scottish Government argued it was “absolutely clear” in its opposition to the “building of new nuclear power plants in Scotland under current technologies”.

SNP ministers believe significant “growth in renewables, storage, hydrogen and carbon capture provide the best pathway to net-zero by 2045.”

The Scottish Greens, who signed a cooperation agreement with the SNP to improve climate change, argued Nuclear power was “neither safe nor reliable.”

Mark Ruskell MSP, party spokesperson for the environment and climate, said: “The last thing we need is a backwards step towards the nuclear industry, which would cost hundreds of millions of pounds while leaving a toxic legacy for centuries.”

Mr Ruskell stressed the UK Government’s push for nuclear reactors showed “the need for Scotland to have full control over energy policy” through independence.

Ministers are already in talks with a leading US nuclear reactor company on building a new atomic power plant on Anglesey in Wales.

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If it gets the go-ahead, the new plant at Wylfa would be able to generate enough electricity to power more than six million homes and could be operational in the mid-2030s.

The British arm of France’s EDF and China General Nuclear Power Corp is also building the first UK nuclear power plant in decades at Hinckley Point, in west England, and are planning a second at Sizewell in east England.

A UK Government spokesperson added: “We are seeking to approve at least one more large-scale nuclear project this Parliament in order to strengthen our energy security, and create thousands of jobs across the country.”

Nuclear power provided around 16.8 percent of Britain’s electricity generation in 2019, according to the National Grid, while gas was used to generate 38.4 percent.

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Elsewhere, activists dressed as dead fish yesterday in a bizarre “die-in” protest outside a submarine base to protest against the UK’s use of nuclear weapons.

Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament supporters lay down outside Faslane on the Clyde, the home of the UK’s nuclear subs.

One protestor dressed as a radiographer in a hazmat suit for the stunt to mark International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

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