SNP Disappointment At EU Pro Nuclear Vote

04 February 2009
SNP MEP and alternate member of the European Parliament's Energy Committee Mr Alyn Smith has expressed his disappointment at a vote today in Strasbourg on the energy policy of the EU, which saw the Parliament approve a number of pro-nuclear industry measures.

Mr Smith voted against the eventual report on this basis.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the debate, Mr Smith said:

"This debate is particularly timely as we emerge from the recent gas supply crisis, but it is a shame that instead of embracing positive action to increase efficiency and spur alternative technologies the Parliament today continued the myth that nuclear power is somehow economic and sustainable when it is clearly neither.

"We need to see more EU investment in Scotland's renewable potential and I want to see it now. Whether you are looking at tidal, wind (on or off shore), wave, biomass, you name it, Scotland has it, and in abundance. Add this to our existing oil, gas and marine experience and you can see why we're the EU's green energy powerhouse. However, EU investment must be delivered if we are to embark on massive projects such as wiring up the sea for marine energy. We have seen just this week some very welcome announcements in this direction, so that makes today's vote all the more a missed opportunity.

"Nuclear power relies on imported uranium, and massive, often hidden, public subsidy. In terms of bang for buck it is just not where we need to go, and it is a pity that the majority in Parliament remains blinkered on the nuclear issue when there are so many more fruitful energy policies we could be taking forward."