This resistance to any form of subsidy for nuclear power:
Will nuclear power stations get built? “You will have to ask the nuclear operators,” he replied.
“I’m not ideologically opposed to nuclear,” Mr Huhne insisted. “My scepticism is based on whether or not they can make it work without public subsidy. One of the things the coalition agreed with some passion in the current circumstances of fiscal restraint was that there will be no public subsidy for nuclear power.”
Even support in the event of a disaster was out of the question, he said.
“That would count as a subsidy absolutely. There will be no public bailouts . . . I have explained my position to the industry and said public subsidies include contingent liabilities.”
This is an important hardening of the position held by the Labour administration and could make it much harder for companies to finance the plants.
“It is a challenge for them, as no one has yet built a nuclear power station without public subsidy for some time.”
What has me wondering is, why?
Start from where Huhne and most other polticians are. We\’ve got climate change happening. We\’ve a large externality from other forms of energy generation in the form of greenhouse gases. We know what the solution to this is: we should tax such externalities and possibly subsidise forms of energy generation which do not have such unwelcome effects upon others.
We do this for solar cells, we do this for windmills, we do this for tidal power …..so why shouldn\’t we do this for nuclear power?
One can only assume that this line in the sand, these technologies yes and that technology no, must be there for ideological reasons. For there is no logical reason for it at all.