UK Nuclear Power Plans Back on Table as Lib Dems Back Down

16 May 2010 (Last Updated May 16th, 2010 18:30)

The UK's new coalition government, which has differing policies on nuclear power, has agreed to let new plant plans go to a parliamentary vote. The vote could pave the way for approval of Labour’s plans to build a new generation of nuclear plants. However, the appointment o

The UK's new coalition government, which has differing policies on nuclear power, has agreed to let new plant plans go to a parliamentary vote.

The vote could pave the way for approval of Labour’s plans to build a new generation of nuclear plants.

However, the appointment of an anti-nuclear energy minister could create future obstacles.

Anti-nuclear Liberal Democrats, a minority in the coalition government with the Conservatives, will speak out against nuclear power but have agreed to abstain from voting on national planning statements (NPS) on new plants.

This leaves the NPS vote to mostly Conservative and Labour parliament members, whose parties both support the building of new nuclear power plants.

Many of the UK's aging nuclear power plants are scheduled to shut over the next few years, with the Conservatives pushing private companies to build new ones as part of a low-carbon power generation mix.