With the government about to announce a new generation of nuclear power stations, we've published our case against nuclear power - and for the real solutions to climate change and energy security.
You can download the full briefing as a pdf but here's a quick run-down of why nuclear new build can't keep the lights on and actually threatens our ability to reduce our carbon emissions:
• Even if Britain built ten new reactors, nuclear power can only deliver a 4 per cent cut in carbon emissions some time after 2025. Even the Government admits this (Sustainable Development Commission figure). It's too little too late at too high a price.
• Most of the gas we use is for heating and hot water and for industrial purposes. Nuclear power cannot replace that energy. And it's a similar case for oil as it's virtually all used for transport - nuclear power can't take its place.
• Indeed, 86 per cent of our oil and gas consumption is for purposes other than producing electricity. So nuclear power, which can only generate electricity, is almost irrelevant.
• The real solutions to the energy gap and climate change are available now. Energy efficiency, cleaner use of fossil fuels, renewables and state of the art decentralised power stations like they have in Scandinavia. Together they have the potential to deliver reliable low carbon energy quicker and cheaper. They are also safe and globally applicable, unlike nuclear. But these technologies will be strangled if cash and political energy get thrust at nuclear power.
• Gordon Brown very recently committed the UK to generating around 40 per cent of our electricity from renewables by 2020. If he means it, Britain could become a world leader in clean energy and his case for nuclear evaporates. At the moment Germany has 300 times as much solar power and 10 times as much wind power installed as the UK and has given up on nuclear.
• Margaret Thatcher promised 10 new reactors when she was in power. Just one was built. Going for nuclear allows politicians to project the impression that they are taking difficult decisions to solve difficult problems. In reality going for nuclear simply will not solve our energy problems. Other low carbon technologies will.