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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 April, 2005, 10:26 GMT 11:26 UK
Greens go nuclear over stations
Chernobyl nuclear power station
The Chernobyl plant's number four reactor exploded in 1986
The Scottish Greens are urging voters to make nuclear power an election issue and oppose any Labour plans to increase the number of nuclear stations.

Nineteen years after the Chernobyl disaster, Chris Ballance MSP said nuclear power had proved to be "a dirty, risky and expensive mistake".

He said renewable energy had not been properly utilised to meet Scotland's energy needs.

The MSP said a new Labour government would build more nuclear stations.

The Chernobyl plant was the scene of the world's worst civilian nuclear accident in April 1986, when its number four reactor exploded.

The blast contaminated vast areas of Belarus, Ukraine and Russia and sent a radioactive cloud across Europe.

Cleaning up after the radioactive mess that nuclear power makes is already costing the taxpayer 83bn
Chris Ballance
Scottish Green MSP

Mr Ballance said the movement and sale of sheep was still restricted on 14 Scottish farms as a result of the disaster.

The MSP for South of Scotland went on: "Nuclear power is dirty, risky and an expensive mistake.

"Ministers have made limited efforts to promote renewables - there is no strategy for wind farms, no meaningful support for marine power, no ambitious plan for making Scotland a global renewable energy leader.

"This can only mean that a nuclear station is on the cards."

Mr Ballance said government sources suggested a Labour general election win could see nuclear power return to the political centre stage with a national debate likely to be held.

"Cleaning up after the radioactive mess that nuclear power makes is already costing the taxpayer 83bn," he added.

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