ENERGY – COAL AND NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS – 23 April 2009

Dr Julian Lewis: I welcome the comprehensive approach that the Government are taking to these questions. Will the Secretary of State tell us what examination he made of the type of balance being struck by other European countries between different forms of energy generation? France, in particular, as we know, has a great degree of self-sufficiency based on nuclear power stations. What sort of balance does he think that we should have between nuclear power and the new technology that he has described?

[The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (Edward Miliband): The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. The view about nuclear in this country was coloured by the experiences that we had, the plants that were gone for and the cost of waste and clean-up. I am pleased that my predecessor made the decisions that he did about nuclear. As I said earlier, I think that climate change has changed people's view about the role of nuclear in the energy mix. On the subject of the French example, I am not sure that we would want to be wholly reliant on nuclear. It should be part of the energy mix along with clean fossil fuels and renewables, and there should still be a role for gas, at least for the time being. I think that that is the right way to go.]