What does Zac make of the Tories’ latest nuclear policy?

Just four months ago, the Tories’ non-dom candidate for Richmond Park, Zac Goldsmith, promised that his party would “ring in era of integrity” – and insisted no new nuclear power stations would be built under a Tory government.

Zac told The Guardian last December:

… that if the party sticks to its existing policy, it would never allow the building of a new nuclear power station. He said Tory policy “was to give a green light to nuclear power as long as there is no call on the taxpayer, not just in terms of building, but maintenance, security and disposal of waste.. In the history of nuclear power there has never been a station built without huge use of taxpayers’ subsidy”.

I wonder, therefore, what Zac will have made of shadow energy spokesman Greg Clark’s declaration that a Tory government will open a nuclear power station every 18 months. Admitting that in the past the Tories have been studiously ambiguous about their support for nuclear power, Mr Clark says:

‘In the past, we haven’t been entirely clear – this is a very clear statement that we are in favour of nuclear power’. … Mr Clark said he intended to allow energy firms to open at least one new nuclear plant every 18 months, starting in 2018, to help plug a looming power gap. A Conservative government would ask Parliament to approve a national energy plan, limiting the chances of legal challenges by environmental groups.

Poor Zac. First the Tories force him to pay tax just like the rest of us. Now the Tories have turned a deaf ear to the advice of their one-time green champion. Ouch.

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  • Paul Griffiths 28th Mar '10 - 5:07pm

    What’s more, I thought the Conservatives had pledged to do away with the Infrastructure Planning Commission? Clark’s statement seems to imply that something functionally identical would take its place.

  • First this, then soon it will be Heathrow runway 3. The lobbyists will make mincemeat of clueless Tory ministers.

    Zak’s position in the Tory party is the equivalent of the booby blonde standing next to the sports car.

  • BTW, don’t let the Green Party get away with saying they aren’t funded by millionaires, Zac Goldsmith has made donations to the GP.

  • Rainer Unsinn 29th Mar '10 - 3:46pm

    It might help if you boys would finish school, before getting into adult topics.

    Careful reading of what Zac Goldsmith said will tell you that there is no discrepancy with the shadow minister.

    Get your facts straight boys.

    Then, again, you’re quoting from the Tory hating Grauniad. I trust them as much as I trust LibDems.

  • Jules Wright 29th Mar '10 - 4:47pm

    I rather think you’re missing the wider point and have become bogged down in irrelevant minutiae. Without a solid nuclear power foundation able to shoulder the weight of our needs, the lights will go out.

    The French use nuclear power to generate 75% of their national grid. They have a coherent, realistic energy policy not governed by a loud but dense and politically-motivated leftist minority. French lights will never go out. Their energy experts look at us and scratch their heads that we could be so willfully stupid – for so long.

    Until we have 1) harnessed clean, waste-free nuclear fusion, 2) deployed and harnessed predictable, clean and efficient tidal power from our 13,000 miles of tidal coastline and 3) have achieved the mass adoption of clean hydrogen fuel cell technology, then nuclear fission and cleaner fossil fuels are the only viable interim option. Wind turbines? An expensive, inefficient but stylish joke underpinned by coal that is unsuitable for our climate and for contributing to our core energy grid.

    All unpalatable news for dreamers, lefties and self-appointed trust fund messiahs. But true nonetheless.

  • Tom Thornton 16th Apr '10 - 1:01pm

    Completely agree with Jules Wright.

    Nuclear Fission is the only feasible option to prevent the lights going out and politicians really need to start looking at the hard science and not the politics behind energy generation.

    Politicians are currently pandering to a socially ingrained fear of Nuclear Power based upon a decades old legacy of the Cold War and Hiroshima – when in fact more people die every year as a result of coal and hydroelectric developments then have ever died as a result of nuclear power.

    People talk about nuclear waste being around for thousands of year – properly disposed of its perfectly safe and has no emissions – it doesn’t hurt the natural world. Indeed nuclear disposal / testing sites are usually havens for wildlife, due to a lack of human development. Coal carbon emissions however will change the face of our planet into a desert and the effects will be felt for hundreds of thousands of years.

    I want to vote Liberal, but under their energy policies I can’t – Wake up and smell the emissions!

    Change your nuclear stance………. I’m afraid we must follow the French this time. This is Great Britain though, we can show them how to do it properly 😉

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