Nuclear will ‘leave legacy of debt and radioactive waste’, says Slater

Nuclear power would “leave a legacy of debt and radioactive waste for generations to come”, the Scottish Greens have said.

The party has reiterated its opposition to nuclear, claiming its greater inclusion in the energy mix could hamper the move to 100% renewable energy.

Co-leader Lorna Slater also hit out at comments from Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who said the sector will be a “critical part” of his energy plan.

“More nuclear power would leave a legacy of debt and radioactive waste for generations to come,” Ms Slater said.

“Backing it is not just a distraction, it undermines our journey to 100% renewable energy. The Scottish Greens will oppose any attempts to expand or impose it.”

The Green co-leader also hit out at the management of the construction of Hinkley Point C on the south coast of England, where delays and cost overruns have spiralled.

“The disastrous mismanagement of Hinkley Point C tells us everything we need to know about how unreliable and expensive nuclear has become,” she said.

“It is now running 14 years behind schedule and costs have inflated to £46 billion – seven times Scotland’s entire annual capital budget.

“Even though Hinkley is on the south coast of England, Scottish households will be paying for this travesty for decades.

“It’s outrageous that instead of learning from this catastrophic mismanagement the Tories and Labour are committing to pouring even more of our money into new nuclear power. ”

The UK Government said earlier this year the UK taxpayer will not be on the hook for the cost increases faced by the EDF-run facility in Somerset.

“The Tory and Labour nuclear fantasies will do nothing for our climate and will leave future generations with a costly and dangerous legacy to clean up,” Ms Slater added.

“Scotland and the UK has a vast potential for renewable energy, but we need to invest in it.

“The huge sums of money being wasted on nuclear energy could be far better spent on rapidly expanding our green industries, delivering 100% renewable energy and investing in the jobs of the future.”

Douglas Lumsden, Scottish Conservative shadow secretary for net zero, energy and transport, said: “The dogmatic opposition of the Greens – and the SNP – to nuclear energy shows that neither party have a clue when it comes to energy policy.

“The SNP and the Greens also oppose new oil and gas production in the North Sea – which would cost tens of thousands of North East jobs – when they know full well that renewable sources alone can’t yet meet our energy needs.

“Nuclear is clean, green and should be a key part of our energy mix – which is why countries around the world are embracing it.”