Christopher Adams and Jean Eaglesham published a story in The Financial Times on Sunday 20 November 2005 about the debates that are going on in the UK cabinet about new nuclear power stations. The article, titled Looming Cabinet split over nuclear power discusses the sceptical, but possibly open-minded views of Margaret Beckett, the UK Environment Minister.
Her concerns revolve around the costs of new plant construction and the waste storage plans. There is also a pervasive feeling that nuclear cannot do anything quickly to aleviate greenhouse gas emissions since it will take 7-10 years to build the first new plant. Over the long term, however, Ms. Beckett almost grudgingly admits that there might be value that cannot be ignored:
However, she added that nuclear power might nevertheless need to be part of a future energy mix.
“I’ve always accepted…that, particularly because of climate change, we could come to a position where we and other governments were driven back towards nuclear. So I’ve always accepted we can’t afford to close the door on nuclear.”