Sizewell: MP’s ‘misled’ over need for new generation of nuclear plants, claims report

OFFICIALS distorted evidence and misled MPs over the need to build a new fleet of nuclear power stations, according to a report written by a Suffolk town councillor.

Ron Bailey, who sits on Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council, recently presented his findings at the House of Commons. Together with other experts and a group of MPs he told ministers that the information used to justify the need for new nuclear build in the UK was wrong. His report, which was written with the help of the Association for the Conservation of Energy and Unlock Democracy, uses the Government’s own research to show that new nuclear power stations are not needed.

Both the previous Labour Government and the current coalition overstated evidence, the report claims. It suggests assertions that electricity demand is likely to double are based on taking some of the highest estimates rather than the average, while Mr Bailey also claims key findings that showed ways in which the UK could do without new nuclear power were ignored.

He said: “We found that the information given to ministers was incorrect. It was a distortion of evidence. Let me be clear – we are not blaming ministers. They can only make the decisions based on the information they have. But the information was wrong. Often the justification for nuclear power is that it is the only way to ‘keep the lights switched on’ – but that’s not true.”

The report, called A Corruption of Governance?, has been endorsed by a cross-party group of MPs. Its findings were last night welcomed by the Shut Down Sizewell Campaign and Communities Against Nuclear Expansion (CANE).

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said: “We need a range of new energy infrastructure to keep the lights on and reduce our carbon emissions.

“The UK has everything to gain from becoming a leading destination to invest in new nuclear. This will come alongside investment in other technologies like renewables, clean coal and gas and improved energy efficiency.”

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He said they were confident that the Energy National Policy Statements, which will inform decisions on building new infrastructure, take account of relevant factors.

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