The Scottish Executive has ruled out approving any new nuclear plants until at least 2006, pending a thorough public debate on managing the country’s existing nuclear waste. The decision followed reports that the UK Government was in favour of a new nuclear construction in Scotland.
Submitting its initial evidence to the UK energy review, the Executive also said that it considered nuclear power too expensive to compete with other sources of power. Instead it would seek to boost Scotland’s potential for renewable energy resources.
Scotland has 4500t of high and intermediate level radioactive waste in storage, with more likely to result from decommissioning over the next century, even without new plant.
The Executive pointed out that Hunterston B and Torness account for more than 53% of electricity demand in Scotland. With life extensions, it said, Hunterston B could run until 2016 and Torness until 2029.
The issue of waste management policy is devolved to Scotland, whereas nuclear power is a reserved issue for Westminster.