London Indymedia

M.Howard on new nuke power and waste etc.

pirate | 05.04.2006 14:57 | Ecology | Globalisation | Technology | London | South Coast

The 'retiring' M.Howard replies to the Greenpeace anti new nuke power and waste trains campaign letter from a constituent.

Hello Greepeace. I sent the MP email on nuclear powwer and waste trains off to Micheal Howard yesterday. I included an additional para about Dungeness waste trains (see copy letter below). Here is his 'immediate' reply.... Will fwd further reply from Minister -see below-when rec' (prob several weeks)

(MH's 'parting' gift to his constituents, the UK and World ??...) (nb; Zac Goldsmith has been mentioned as a poss replacement...highly unlikely but since a seagull could stand for the Tories round here and get in it would be 'nice' if ZG was selected !)


House of Commons, London.

4. April 2006.


Thank you for your email of 4 April regarding nuclear power.

I believe that nuclear power has enormous potential to contribute to the challenge which we all face reducing global warming.

You are quite right to point out some of the practical problems which remain to be resolved. One is the disposal of nuclear waste; the other is cost.

It is, however, my view that if satisfactory solutions can be found for these problems we should adopt a favourable attitude to nuclear power. I am sorry that this means that we do not agree in this instance.

I have taken up the specific points you raise regarding Dungeness with Malcolm Wicks MP, Minister of State with responsibility for Energy, and will be back in touch as soon as I have received a reply.

Your sincerely. Micheal Howard.

---------------------- Original email letter follows... see bullet point 2 for Dungeness/trains.

Greenpeace bit..

Thank you for writing to your MP about the Energy Review and letting them know that nukes are not the answer.

The public consultation period ends on April 14th. We need to increase the pressure on government before then if we are going to stop a new generation of nuclear power stations and force the only smart, safe and clean solution to climate change - increased energy efficiency and renewable energy. Please send our new nuclear video to your friends and ask them to take action by telling their MP nukes are not the answer:
Thank you.
Climate Campaigner
Greenpeace UK

Dear Michael Howard.

I am writing to you to ask you to please convey to Tony Blair that committing the UK to another generation of nuclear power stations would be a dangerous, expensive and unpopular move that would do more damage than good in the fight against climate change. Replacing all our existing nuclear power stations with new ones would create more nuclear waste, and still only save 4% of our CO2 emissions, and the savings would come too late to prevent climate change anyway. Every pound spent on nuclear power is one which could have delivered 7 times more carbon savings if spent on energy efficiency. If this government stopped reviewing its energy policy and instead got on with delivering the policy it committed to after the last Energy Review, the UK would be on track to meet its climate targets and secure its energy supply for the future.

I am particularly concerned that:

- the Prime Minister has already made up his mind and is trying to force his opinion on the British public,

- As regards Dungeness A & B, there has still be no progress on the installing of barriers on the road crossings which meet the Lydd rail line despite the second crash there two years ago. Nor has there been any plan to take the waste trains away from Ashford Intl platforms (1 & 2) by the installing of extra points to the mainlines. With the A station due to close Dec 2006 and take around 2.5 years to defuel and probably requiring 4-5 train movements with several flasks on each a month, the above actions need to be expedited

- none of the problems of nuclear power have yet been solved, such as the waste issue, which has only last week been increased to around £70 billion, or its exorbitant cost.

- a commitment to nuclear would stifle the vital development of the real solutions to climate change - renewable energy and effective energy efficiency measures.

There is a better choice than nuclear that does more for the climate, more for energy security and costs less. Using energy locally and using heat as well as power is a technique that exists and works on a significant scale in several countries today. Combined with efficiency and renewable energy technologies we can have a smarter, cleaner, cheaper and viable alternative to traditional energy systems in both heat and electricity.

Please write to Tony Blair with a copy of my letter and ask him to reassure me that the government is seriously committed to stopping climate change, through sustainable means that do not include nuclear power.

Yours sincerely,



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