Reversing Stance, UK Energy Secretary Supports New Nuclear Plant Construction

In a reversal of his party's previous position, UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said he now supports the development of nuclear energy as part of efforts to fight climate change.

“Nuclear energy has risks, but we face the greater risk of accelerating climate change if we do not embark on another generation of Sizewell B nuclear plant. Source: John Brodrick via Wikipedianuclear power... Nuclear can be a vital and affordable means of providing low-carbon electricity. I believe nuclear electricity can and should play a part in our energy future,  provided that new nuclear is built without public subsidy,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

Huhne was speaking Thursday before the Royal Society. The speech marked a break from the Liberal Democrat party's stated intentions during last year's elections to veto new nuclear projects.

According to the World Nuclear Association, 18 power reactors generate about 18 percent of the UK's electricity. All but one will be decommissioned in the next 12 years. Current energy policy calls for 19 GWe of new nuclear generation to be built in the country, although the technology has faced increased political resistance since the Fukushima Daiichi accident in Japan.

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