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Nuclear Power

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:47 pm on 22nd October 2002.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Trade and Industry) 7:47 pm, 22nd October 2002

I will give way, but I was hoping to deal with the question from Mr. Osborne about where we see nuclear power in the picture.

The fourth argument that is advanced, which comes to the heart of the debate, is that we must at the very least keep the nuclear option open. The problem is that there are different ways of doing that. It is quite possible that, in years to come, nuclear power technology will have advanced to a point at which it has dealt with the environmental problems that concern us and it is cost-competitive. That is why my colleagues and I believe that it would be prudent and right for the Government to invest in research in nuclear power. That would be a profitable, useful role for the Department of Trade and Industry. That is quite a different matter from a large-scale bail-out of one particular company that cannot compete at this stage.