Greenpeace challenges UK nuclear expansion

30 August 2011

Greenpeace UK has served legal papers accusing the UK coalition government of failing to take into account the implications of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in their future planning for the building of new nuclear power stations in the UK.

The six energy National Policy Statements (NPS) were approved by parliament on 19 July 2011, following public consultation and parliamentary scrutiny. The nuclear NPS lists eight sites that are suitable for the deployment of a new nuclear power station by 2025.

On 26 August, Greenpeace announced that in a 1611-page legal submission to the High Court it is seeking a judicial review of “ the government’s decision not to take into account specialist advice on the implications of the Fukushima disaster on future reactors.”

It accuses the government of ‘unlawfully’ pressing ahead with plans for new nuclear reactors through the Nuclear NPS without waiting to take into account relevant considerations arising from the Fukushima incident.

Greenpeace alleges that the risks of flooding to a nuclear site have not been fully considered and that the Nuclear NPS fails to fully consider the lessons from Fukushima on the need for emergency planning for on and off site consequences of a nuclear accident.

A spokesman for the energy and climate change department (DECC) said: "We are confident that the designation of the Nuclear National Policy Statement was lawful."

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