Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) has reviewed the evidence for and against new reactors in the UK and concluded that, despite the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, continued opposition to new nuclear power stations in the UK is still a credible position. (1) To help the reassessment FoE commissioned the Tyndall Centre at Manchester University to carry out a review.
The Tyndall Report (2) found the non-nuclear energy pathway that Friends of the Earth advocates is credible; the health impacts of coal are worse than nuclear power, but life-cycle health impacts do not take account of health impacts resulting from nuclear accidents; nuclear waste management remains an “unresolved issue”; and claims that nuclear power is cheaper than other low carbon options are unlikely to be borne out in reality.
Since receiving the report FoE has updated its position paper. (3) FoE continues to oppose the construction of new nuclear power stations, promotes the rapid introduction of renewable energy – particularly offshore wind – and opposes the provision of subsidies to nuclear power as these reduce the amount of money available to more sustainable energy saving and renewable energy technologies.
A longer discussion will be available in the September issue on NuClear News.
(1) Mike Childs Blog 2nd August 2013 http://www.foe.co.uk/news/nuclear_40884.html
(2) A Review of Research Relevant to New Build Nuclear Power Plants in the UK, Tyndall Centre, January 2013 http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/tyndall_evidence.pdf
(3) Why Friends of the Earth Opposes Plans for New Nuclear Reactors, FoE, August 2013 http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/nuclear_power_friends_of_t.pdf