Gordon Brown wants to increase nuclear capacity

Published: Monday 30 June 2008

IN THE face of soaring oil prices, uk Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said that the country needs to increase its nuclear power capacity. Brown's announcement was to ensure that the country does not over-depend on foreign energy sources and at the same time meets its emissions reduction targets.

In January this year, the government approved the construction of new nuclear power plants. The focus was on replacing ageing nuclear reactors that provide 20 per cent of the country's electricity.

But in his comments on May 28, Brown has gone a step further saying that uk should plan for expanding nuclear power plants rather than merely replacing the old ones. Speaking to industry representatives, he said: "We want to diversify our supply of energy... We will be more ambitious for our plans for nuclear energy in the future." This apparently opens up doors for expanding existing nuclear power plants or building new plants.

Though Brown's comments cheered private firms, not all are pleased. Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson Steve Webb said that nuclear power is not an answer to today's energy crisis. "The government should focus on greater energy efficiency, boosting renewable energies and making sure that coal-fired power plants don't pollute the environment," he said. Robin Oakley of Greenpeace's climate and energy campaign also says, "...nuclear power will do nothing to address any concerns over oil."

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