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Time To Consider The Nuclear Power Option

Time To Consider The Nuclear Power Option

ACT New Zealand Energy Spokesman Ken Shirley today congratulated Environment Canterbury for at least being prepared to consider the option of nuclear power, and predicted that its public meetings and workshops would be well attended.

"Green Co-Leader Rod Donald's intemperate response highlights the dogma and mantras that blind his Party. If he is so confident and secure in his beliefs, then why is he so afraid of even having this topic discussed?" Mr Shirley said.

"Mr Donald's claim, that the proposed discussion on the nuclear power option could single-handedly destroy Canterbury as an international tourism destination, was arrant nonsense. Is France destroyed as a tourist destination by the fact that it derives 70 percent of its electricity from nuclear power stations?

"Energy Minister Pete Hodgson's response was as patronisingly arrogant as it was misleading. His statement, that the Government already knew this option is not viable, is simply incorrect. Labour has refused to evaluate this option, so how can it dismiss it as not being viable?

"A Royal Commission did consider the nuclear power option in the early 1970s, and concluded that it could be a very viable option for New Zealand in the early 21st Century. No one is saying we should rush out and build nuclear power stations, but it is extreme folly not to consider the options and evaluate the new technologies that are available.

"With the growing concern over CO2 emissions, and the clear resistance to modifying rivers, New Zealanders need to take a reality check if we are to enjoy secure electricity supplies at optimal prices," Mr Shirley said.

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