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UK Insincere about Nuclear Subsidies

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TEHRAN, May 16 (ICANA) – British Members of Parliament and environmentalists have criticised the coalition government for not being sincere about the subsidies to the nuclear industry.
Monday, May 16, 2011 11:05:46 PM
UK Insincere about Nuclear Subsidies

The coalition had promised not to subsidise the new generation of nuclear power plants by the taxpayer.

However, the committee of the energy and climate change said ministers twisted the reform process of the electricity market with being insincere about the subsidies to a one-size-fits-all design of long-term contracts for delivering low-carbon power, according to the Morning Star.

The government has proposed contracts to a subsidy for new reactors, in which a fixed price is paid for electricity from low-carbon sources.

The MPs warned that the proposal would not work for offshore wind but might work for nuclear. They criticised the government for being so complicated in the reforms, calling on the government to break up the six power suppliers and let new investors to be involved.

"Ministers believe that new nuclear could play a key role in keeping the lights on and meeting our climate change targets - but they don't want to own up to supporting it," Tim Yeo, committee chairperson, said.

Yeo also said it was "deeply irresponsible" to twist the whole process just to save face. "The government must be upfront about the support it is giving to nuclear and not hide subsidies in a one-size-fits-all design for long-term energy contracts," he added.

"Nuclear power has always needed taxpayer handouts to make it profitable. After Fukushima, nuclear costs are set to rise even further. Instead of pretending the economics stack up, David Cameron should now come clean about the leg-up he's planning to give the nuclear giants while presiding over the stagnation of the UK renewables industry," Doug Parr, Greenpeace policy director, said.

"This report shows the government's plans are stacked in favour of nuclear power over renewable energy and are so vague they risk locking the UK into a new generation of polluting fossil fuels," Simon Bullock, Friends of the Earth senior economy campaigner, said.

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