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Nuclear Power

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 8:16 pm on 22nd October 2002.

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Photo of Mr Brian Wilson Mr Brian Wilson Minister of State (Industry and Energy), Department of Trade and Industry 8:16 pm, 22nd October 2002

My hon. Friend makes an excellent point. I keep saying that we have now moved into an era in which the world should not be divided into pro and anti-nuclear fan clubs. We are not fighting the arguments of the 1960s or the 1970s, when the decisions were taken that led to the existence of the nuclear industry. The point is that we have a nuclear industry, and it supplies us with 25 per cent. of our electricity. In Scotland, it supplies us with much more.

The rational, intelligent argument in which we must engage is whether it makes any kind of sense to run down an industry that is the major low-carbon contributor to the energy mix, just when we face an enormous challenge to reduce the carbon content of our energy supply in general. That is the nub of the debate, and it is perfectly possible to talk about it sensibly.