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Wednesday, May 17, 2006 

Blair: Nuclear is back with a vengeance.

Despite all that has recently happened, Tony Blair is still going out of his way to anger his own party. In a speech last night to his favourite group of people, the "voice of business", the CBI (expect him to become chairman or member of the boards of a few companies that belong to it when he leaves office), he seemingly decided to pre-empt the government's own energy review which is due to report in July, by saying that "failing to replace the current ageing plants would fuel global warming, endanger Britain's energy security and represent a dereliction of duty to the country".

All the signs are that new nuclear plants are going to be pushed through, whether anyone likes it or not. Parliament seems unlikely to get a vote or even a say in the process, those who might build the plants are demanding that the normal planning restrictions be bypassed so they can get right on with it, and the Guardian reports that the ex-environment minister sacked in the reshuffle has said that the figures behind the case for new nuclear power stations have been a fit-up. This is without going into the fact the North Sea gas and oil fields are nowhere near as dry as they have been claimed to be. The reality is that the quantity that remains is just harder to get at, which means that those precious profits will have to be eaten into a little, and the companies aren't prepared to do that.

John Vidal over on Comment is Free has nine questions which Blair has to answer. I wouldn't hold out too much hope that he will.

Related post: Shiny new Chernobyls.

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