Nuclear warning

NORTH East MEP Fiona Hall has called for a halt on further nuclear power developments in the UK to allow for an urgent public debate on safety issues.

Fiona played a leading role in the Druridge Bay campaign in the 1980s to stop nuclear power on the Northumberland coast and she is the Lib Dem energy spokesperson in the European Parliament. She has written to the UK’s Energy Minister, Chris Huhne, asking for a moratorium on nuclear energy following the safety failures at the Fukushima plant in Japan.

Fiona said: “The key issue at Fukushima is not the earthquake but the failure of back-up systems during the emergency shutdown.”

“This raises much wider questions about nuclear safety, not least because Japan is a country with a high reputation for technological reliability.

“With Hartlepool on the list of sites the Government is considering for future nuclear development, this is a very important issue for the region.

“I am particularly concerned that there has been too narrow an approach to nuclear safety - one which focused on technical systems and failed to take into account the wider consequences of a disaster scenario.”

“Public and investor confidence in nuclear energy has been severely shaken by events in Japan. A moratorium is now necessary to give time for a full public debate and reassessment.”