Wednesday, 11 July 2018 15:41

TORY NUCLEAR OBSESSION WILL COST ‘CONSUMERS AND TAXPAYERS A FORTUNE’

SNP Energy spokesperson at Westminster Drew Hendry MP has said that Tory nuclear obsession will continue to ‘cost consumers and taxpayers a fortune’ – with demands that taxpayers alone shoulder the financial burden of safety breaches at Wylfa “setting a dangerous precedent.” 
 

The MP has lodged a motion in the UK Parliament following reports that directors from the UK Government’s Wylfa partner, Hitachi, want “safeguards that reduce or eliminate Hitachi’s financial responsibility for accidents at the plant” despite liability for nuclear developers already being capped at 1.3 billion Euros by the Brussels and Paris conventions.
 
These demands follow two serious safety breaches in Hitachi nuclear developments, one of which resulted in a $2.7 million fine from the US Government. Reports suggest the UK Government will already be pumping in up to £15 billion in equity and debt provision – a massive cost for a government bogged down in Brexit and endless austerity.
 
This is part of long running Tory incompetence over energy policy, having previously scrapped subsidies for renewables, failed to adequately support the oil and gas sector, and gone back on their pledge to invest £1 billion in a new Carbon Capture and Storage scheme which Peterhead was likely to benefit from.
 
SNP Energy Spokesperson at Westminster Drew Hendry MP commented:
 
“The Tories have learnt nothing from the  eye-wateringly high-cost of the Hinkley Point C deal, and their  nuclear obsession is set to cost consumers and taxpayers an absolute fortune.
 
“Reports that Hitachi directors are unwilling to take financial responsibility for nuclear safety breaches at the Wylfa nuclear plant risks setting a dangerous precedent by which companies profit from sky high nuclear prices whilst leaving the public to burden of any safety breach.
 
“Given the huge sums it could take to deal with nuclear safety accidents and the unprecedented scale of taxpayer funds being spent on Wylfa, the UK Government must follow the Public Account's Committee’s demand and provide a full Value for Money assessment, subject for Parliamentary scrutiny,  before the final signing of this deal.
 
“It is shocking that customers and taxpayers will be left to pick up the tab whilst the UK Government squanders the opportunity to achieve sustainable economic and jobs growth by harnessing Scotland’s enormous renewable energy potential.
 
“The fact that they are happy to support yet  another white elephant project, but abandoned the oil and gas sector in its hour of need, and pulled the plug on the innovative Carbon Capture and Storage project at Peterhead  - shows where the Tory  priorities lie.”

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