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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 July 2006, 06:49 GMT 07:49 UK
No nuclear stations for NI: Hain
Nuclear sign painted on barrel of waste
Mr Hain said nuclear power stations would not be built in NI
Nuclear power stations will not be built in Northern Ireland, Secretary of State Peter Hain has said.

He was speaking as a new generation of nuclear power stations was expected to be given the go-ahead by the government following its energy review.

The review is expected to make the case for as many as six new facilities in England, Scotland and Wales.

However, Mr Hain said that renewable energy sources would provide the way forward for Northern Ireland.

"There are no plans to build any nuclear power stations in Northern Ireland - that is the view I have taken as secretary of state," he said.

"It's also part of an understanding we have with the Irish government, who are opposed to any new nuclear build on the whole island of Ireland

"That means that we have to go very strongly and progressively for green, clean, renewable energy, which is what we will be doing."

Global warming targets

Prime Minister Tony Blair ordered the energy review last November to decide how the UK would meet its targets for fighting global warming and ensuring energy security.

Nuclear currently meets 20% of the UK's energy needs and Mr Blair says that gap needs to be filled as all the existing plants are decommissioned by 2023.

Supporters of nuclear power want to have a firm framework on which to make investment decisions.

They insist they will not need government subsidies to build new nuclear plants.

But critics say siding with nuclear power will make investors less likely to put money into renewable sources and distract from energy efficiency - the focus of the government's last energy review in 2003.


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