Nuclear power is neither an answer to
energy problems nor a panacea for
climate change, Mikhail Gorbachev told
John Vidal, environment editor
Thursday June 8, 2006
Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet president, has
written to Tony Blair urging him not to pursue
nuclear power, which he says does not add up
economically, environmentally or socially, and will
not help Britain or other countries tackle climate
In London to talk to MPs about climate change, Mr
Gorbachev wrote: "Nuclear power is neither the
answer to modern energy problems nor a panacea for
climate change challenges. It requires huge amounts
of initial capital, while decommissioning plants is
very expensive and costs continue to be incurred
long after a power station are closed."
The G8 group of rich countries will meet shortly to
discuss global energy security, and he fears that
with other world leaders Mr Blair will commit vast
sums to develop nuclear power because of oil price
rises and potential gas supply interruptions.
"There is too much at stake to allow short-term
political considerations to dominate G8 proceedings
[about energy]," Mr Gorbachev told Mr Blair.
"The approach by the G8 of facilitating nuclear
power lacks vision, and relegates renewable energy
and energy efficiency to secondary status." While Mr
Blair is said to have decided to invest up to £20bn
in new nuclear stations, Mr Gorbachev urged him to
help establish a $50bn (£27bn) "global solar fund".
Mr Gorbachev, who resigned in 1991 and now works in
Geneva, says in a book just published that he turned
against nuclear power following the 1986 Chernobyl
disaster in what is now Ukraine.
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