Nuclear Energy

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:52 pm on 13th May 1986.

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Photo of Mr Donald Stewart Mr Donald Stewart , Na h-Eileanan an Iar 6:52 pm, 13th May 1986

I am sorry, but I do not have time.

People say: what about all the jobs in the nuclear power industry? I can tell them that 2,000 jobs have been created in Denmark in research and development on, and the manufacture of, wind power systems. Therefore, one cannot say that if the nuclear industry goes, all those jobs are lost.

In Scotland, there is now an inquiry at Dounreay. As that hearing is under way, I shall not say anything about it, although a sub judice rule does not operate. I say only this. If a country that calls itself "Great" Britain is going to look for an income from laundering dirty radioactive waste from Japan and other countries, what a prospect that is for the future.

Torness is due to go ahead, with indecent haste. The Government say that we need the power for industry. The Government, who have removed industry, are saying that. If we do not need power for industry in Scotland, it is as a result of their actions. There is less need than ever. If Torness comes on stream, we shall be 100 per cent. in excess of our needs. Why must it continue?

I should like to conclude by quoting The Times in 1980. Sir Kelvin Spencer, who was chief scientist at the Ministry of Power in the 1950s and who helped to launch Britain's nuclear power programme, was reported as saying that increased knowledge of the dangers had forced him to change his mind over the issue. The hazards were too terrifying". Sir Kelvin's message, which I repeat, was: Drop it. Mankind cannot handle it".