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Prime Minister pledges support for nuclear power

Prime Minister David Cameron has reaffirmed his belief that nuclear power should play a part in the UK’s future future energy mix.

Mr Cameron told Parliament: “I do think that nuclear power should be part of the mix in the future as it is part of the mix right now.

“Obviously I’m sure that everyone watching the dreadful events in Japan will want to make sure that we learn any lessons.”

However Greenpeace executive director John Sauven said that while the priority should be saving lives in Japan, it was clear that a new debate was taking place in the UK about the direction of energy policy.

He added: “We’re lurching from one energy crisis to the next. First the BP oil spill in the USA, then oil price spikes in response to unrest in the Middle East, and now this nuclear emergency.

“But the long-term solution is the same as it has always been – a sustainable home-grown renewable energy system.”

Meanwhile energy secretary Chris Huhne has asked for an interim report on the implications of Japan’s nuclear crisis for the UK nuclear sector to be delivered by mid-May with a final report to be delivered in September.

The Nuclear Development Forum, which includes senior representatives from the nuclear industry and the government, is holding a planned meeting today.

Several motions have been tabled by MPs on nuclear power including Labour’s Paul Flynn and Mark Durkan calling on Mr Huhne to “suspend all steps he has taken to facilitate a new build nuclear power programme” until a full, independent evaluation has been conducted.

Meanwhile army helicopters dumped tonnes of water to try to cool reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant today.

Officials hope to restore power supply to the plant later on Thursday to help reactivate the plant’s cooling system and back-up generators.

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