Scottish Greens will oppose all plans for new nuclear energy

Nuclear energy will leave a toxic and costly legacy.

Every vote for the Scottish Greens is a vote to oppose new nuclear energy, says the party’s Co-leader, Lorna Slater MSP, who said any expansion would leave “a costly and dangerous legacy.”

The party’s manifesto commits to opposing all new nuclear power, including the expansion or renewal of Scotland’s remaining nuclear power station at Torness.

The UK Tory government has pledged to triple nuclear power by 2050, and has announced plans for the biggest nuclear expansion for 70 years. Similarly Keir Starmer’s Labour Party has promised to expand it, with Mr Starmer calling it a “critical part” of his energy plan.

This follows news that the new Hinkley Point C reactor will now cost up to £46 billion and is expected to come online in 2031 rather than 2017.

In May 2024 the outgoing Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, said that he hoped the next UK government would work with anti-independence parties in Holyrood to impose a new nuclear reactor on Scotland. 

Ms Slater said: “More nuclear power would leave a legacy of debt and radioactive waste for generations to come. 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 disastrous mismanagement of Hinkley Point C tells us everything we need to know about how unreliable and expensive nuclear has become. 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 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.

“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.”

From the Scottish Greens manifesto

New nuclear is outrageously expensive, unnecessary, dependent on the expertise and assets of foreign governments, and detracts from renewables. It will also leave generations to come with a costly and dangerous responsibility to keep the waste safe. 

The disastrous Hinkley Point C project has been hit by a string of delays, and is now estimated to be costing an eye watering £46 billion, yet there is still no confidence as to when it will be online, and now Westminster are threatening to impose a new plant on Scotland against the policy of the Scottish Government. 

We cannot afford to make the mistake of commissioning another new nuclear power plant. The Scottish Greens will oppose new nuclear power, and the expansion or renewal of Scotland’s remaining nuclear power station at Torness.

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