South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has challenged reports that the UK government is about to commit to another 40 years of nuclear power subsidies.
Ms Ritchie said: “The UK government appear to be paving the way for another 40 years of subsidies for dangerous nuclear power. They may be masking the nature of this subsidy by referring to “contracts of difference” and “strike prices,” but by guaranteeing prices to the industry that are double the market rate for energy, the government will be committing to prop up this failed industry with public money for another generation.
“It is also deeply worrying that they appear to be considering extending this commitment, contrary to previous assurances, until 2050 in what would seem to be a last ditch attempt to woo energy companies. With every company but one having pulled out of the nuclear programme, the government is looking increasingly desperate and irresponsible in their efforts to get further investment. Currently half of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s whole budget goes towards decommissioning, but it seems as if no lessons have been learned.
“Nobody is naive about the energy requirements for the next fifty years but we need an energy plan that is sustainable and secure. The North of Ireland’s energy future will not be safeguarded by channelling vast amounts of public money away from truly renewable energy sources into nuclear power.”