No Subsidies for Nuclear Power! - Demo, Westminster, London

No Subsidies for Nuclear Power!

 

Demonstration, Wednesday 14 November, 12-2pm, Westminster

 

12noon-12.50pm: Outside Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), 3 Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2AW

Map: http://tinyurl.com/ct44gzq

Nearest tube: Embankment / Charing Cross

 

1-2pm: Outside HM Treasury, corner of Whitehall / Parliament St and King Charles St, London SW1A

Map: http://tinyurl.com/bu35o4w

Nearest tube: Westminster

 

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Despite the coalition’s pledge not to subsidise nuclear power, the forthcoming Energy Bill, due to be published before the end of November, is likely to offer eye-watering hidden - and possibly less hidden [1, 2] - new subsidies for this dangerous dinosaur technology.

 

The nuclear industry already represents a massive burden to the taxpayer, who has to foot the bill for such costs as decommissioning, long-term waste management and clean-up following any major accident. [3]

 

Meanwhile, the new subsidy framework being proposed risks jeopardising the future development of renewable energy technologies and energy saving initiatives. [4]

 

The ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, [5] Hurricane Sandy in the US, [6] and proliferation concerns in the Middle East are timely reminders of some of the dangers of nuclear power.


Furthermore, there is still no long-term solution in place for six decades’ worth of high level nuclear waste, which will remain dangerous for thousands of years, with incalculable costs to future generations.

 

We say: ‘Invest in energy saving, renewable and decentralised energy, and energy storage, not more dangerous nuclear white elephants!’

 

Join us on Wednesday 14 November as we deliver our message loud and clear to the British government.

 

No Subsidies for Nuclear Power!

We Want a Future, Not a Disaster!

 

This event is organised by Kick Nuclear - campaigning against the UK’s addiction to nuclear power and supporting sustainable alternatives.

http://kicknuclear.org

Contact: kicknuclear [at] kicknuclear.org

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Further action:

 

If you want to write a letter to your MP, or to DECC and the Treasury, telling them that nuclear subsidies must be kept out of the Energy Bill, you can find a template here:

http://stophinkley.org/Temporary/DaveyLetter.htm

 

You may also find the following letter template useful:

http://stopnewnuclear.org.uk/node/1504

 

And don’t forget to boycott nuclear profiteers like EDF Energy and Hitachi! -

 

http://boycottedf.org.uk

http://stopnuclearpoweruk.net/content/uk-anti-nuclear-groups-slam-hitachi-acquisition-horizon-call-boycott

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More background:

 

Among the various hand-outs being tabled are proposals to offer nuclear operators like EDF Energy ‘Contracts for Difference.’ These are long-term price guarantees for nuclear power generation several times over and above the market rate for electricity, which could add as much as £40 billion per reactor to people’s energy bills over 30 years. [7] This subsidy alone could add as much as £400 to people’s annual household bills, to pay for the eight new nuclear power stations that the government wants to be built.

 

While it may make sense to subsidise emerging renewable energy technologies until their costs fall to the point that financial support is no longer necessary, as well as energy saving and storage, nuclear power has benefited from massive taxpayer subsidies for six decades, with no sign of costs falling.

 

The taxpayers’ bill for decommissioning the UK’s first generation of nuclear power stations is now officially estimated at £73 billion (and rising). [8, 9, 10] These costs now consume a staggering two-thirds of DECC’s entire annual budget. [11]

 

In addition, there is still no long-term solution for 6,900 cubic metres [12] of existing high level radioactive nuclear waste, let alone that which would be produced by any new reactors. Following a recent US federal court ruling, the US government's main watchdog, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, has suspended licensing for any new nuclear reactors, or license extensions for existing ones, until long-term waste management issues have been properly evaluated. [13, 14] The same principle should apply in the UK.

 

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Further reading:

 

Friends of the Earth has produced an excellent briefing, which explains many of the issues in more detail:

 

Why Government plans for new nuclear reactors are far-fetched, economically wrong and potentially risky for the climate (September 2012)

http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/nuclear_power0.pdf

 

Is the Government about to start lining the pockets of its nuclear friends?         

Pete Roche, 24 October 2012

http://www.spinwatch.org/blogs-mainmenu-29/313-sam-gardiner/5527-is-the-government-about-to-start-lining-the-pockets-of-its-nuclear-friends

Draft Energy Bill and proposed subsidies for new nuclear

https://we.riseup.net/nonewnuclear/draft-energy-bill-and-proposed-subsidies-for-new-n

 

Energy and Climate Change Committee - Draft Energy Bill: Pre-legislative Scrutiny - Written evidence submitted by the Nuclear Free Local Authorities Steering Committee, July 2012

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmenergy/275/275vw47.htm

 

Nuclear Subsidies – Report by Energy Fair, June 2012

http://www.mng.org.uk/gh/private/nuclear_subsidies1.pdf

 

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References:

 

1. Letters: Who pays the nuclear power bill? – Dr Paul Dorfman, Dr David Toke, Professor Andy Stirling, Dr Nick Eyre, Professor Tom Burke, Jeremy Leggett, Professor Peter A Strachan, Andrew Warren, Professor Brian Wynne, The Independent, 3 November 2012

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/letters-who-pays-the-nuclear-power-bill-8219862.html

 

2. Government to rip up rulebook and subsidise new nuclear plants, Steve Connor, The Independent, 22 October 2012
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-to-rip-up-rulebook-and-subsidise-new-nuclear-plants-8219870.html

 

3. Nuclear Subsidies – Report by Energy Fair, June 2012

http://www.mng.org.uk/gh/private/nuclear_subsidies1.pdf

 

4. New nuclear costs could squeeze renewables from UK energy mix, Tom Burke, guardian.co.uk, 16 October 2012

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/16/nuclear-ed-davey-energy-treasury

5. The following websites provide up-to-date information on the situation in Japan:
http://enenews.com
http://www.beyondnuclear.org
http://www.simplyinfo.org

 

6.  America's nuclear safety under scrutiny after Oyster Creek's Sandy alert - Richard Schiffman, guardian.co.uk, 1 November 2012
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/01/nuclear-safety-oyster-creek-sandy-alert

 

7. Hinkley and Sizewell will cost us £155 billion over 30 years under the CfD – Tom Burke, 28 May 2012

http://tomburke.co.uk/2012/05/28/hinkley-and-sizewell-will-cost-us-155-billion-over-30-years-under-the-cfd

 

8.  National Audit Office Press Release - The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority: Taking forward decommissioning, 30 January 2008

http://www.nao.org.uk/news/0708/0708238.aspx


9. £73 billion cost of nuclear clean-up could rise, warn MPs, The Telegraph, 9 July 2008
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/2276133/73-billion-cost-of-nuclear-clean-up-could-rise-warn-MPs.html

10. Nuclear decommissioning - NuclearSpin briefing, Pete Roche, September 2008
http://www.powerbase.info/images/b/ba/Nuclear_Decomm.pdf
 

 

11. Chris Huhne, in speech to the Royal Society: Why the future of nuclear power will be different, 13 October 2011
http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/ch_sp_royal/ch_sp_royal.aspx

 

12. Ibid. 11


13. Nuclear waste issues freeze permits for U.S. power plants, Steve Hargreaves, CNN Money, 9 August 2012
http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/09/news/economy/nuclear-plants-waste/index.htm

14. Follow US example: halt new nuclear until waste issue

resolved – Stop Hinkley press release, 23 August 2012

http://stophinkley.org/PressReleases/pr120823.pdf

Event Date and Time: 
Wed, 14/11/2012 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm