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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 18:33 GMT 19:33 UK
Blair's nuclear warning to Wales

By Adrian Masters
Westminster correspondent, BBC Wales News

Anti-nuclear demonstrators at Downing Street
Protesters handed an anti-nuclear petition to Downing Street in April
Prime Minister Tony Blair has told MPs Wales cannot be treated as a special case when it comes to making a decision on building new nuclear power stations.

It puts him at odds with the Welsh Assembly Government, which says Wales does not need nuclear power.

His comments came in a response during prime minister's questions to Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Lembit Opik.

Mr Blair said dialogue was important, but he had "to balance the energy interests of the whole of the UK."

Last month he caused anger when he said the building of new nuclear power stations was "back on the agenda with a vengeance."

It is a different view from that of the Labour assembly government in Cardiff Bay.

An assembly government spokesman said it had consistently stated that it "does not see the need for new nuclear power stations in Wales," and had made that position clear in its submission to the UK Government's energy review, which is due to report soon.

Mr Opik said a delegation from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth could demonstrate how Wales' energy needs could be met without using nuclear power.

He said, "Many people are worried that the government is attempting to pre-empt its own energy review, and force us into a particular path.

"The government must show that it's willing to listen to the alternatives, and look at ways of meeting our energy needs without simply attempting to build its way out of trouble with one option that the PM seems to favour."


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