Britain's Nuclear Option Draws Heat

The British government's recent decision to encourage new nuclear power plants has attracted much scrutiny. Andy Rowell and Richard Cookson report that "the Government held at least nine secret meetings at Downing Street with the bosses of nuclear energy companies while it formulated controversial plans for a new generation of the power plants." Prime Minister Gordon Brown's energy adviser met with representatives from British Nuclear Fuels, British Energy, E.ON, EDF and the World Nuclear Association. But "there are no official records of the meetings," and officials "initially tried to block details of the meetings." The British government's own Sustainable Development Commission criticized the nuclear power decision as "the wrong option" and dismissive of "legitimate concerns expressed by the general public," reports the Financial Times. Lastly, an official inquiry may be launched into "two senior ex-ministers who will earn tens of thousands of pounds on top of their parliamentary salaries by working for the nuclear industry," according to The Times.