Nicola Sturgeon rules out nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels in Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has renewed the Scottish Government’s opposition to nuclear power as part of the country’s drive towards net zero.

The First Minister ruled out any new nuclear power stations in Scotland in direct opposition to calls from trade unions, backed by Labour’s Anas Sarwar, for nuclear to be considered as a replacement to fossil fuels.

At First Minister’s Questions in Holyrood Sturgeon insisted it was was an expensive option for taxpayers.

She told SNP MSP Bill Kidd: “Renewables, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage provides the best pathway to net zero by 2045 and will deliver the decarbonisation we need to see across industry, heat and transport.

“We believe that nuclear power represents poor value for consumers.”

The FM said the Hinckley Point C station, already over-budget and only capable of producing expensively subsidised electricity, was an example of nuclear overrun.

She added: “ I think we’ve got to invest in the energy sources that will get us to net zero, but also deliver the best deal for the taxpayers and for energy consumers Nuclear power is a, really bad deal for the bill payer and that’s before we take account of the fact that waste is incredibly difficult to deal with.”

She added: “In 2030 Hinkley could add almost £40 a year to consumer bills while the equivalent offshore wind farms would reduce consumer bills by £8 a year. So let’s invest in the clean sources of energy that will get us to net zero, but also deliver a better deal for bill payers.”

Sturgeon’s statement ran counter to calls from Anas Sarwar that nuclear power could help Scotland end its reliance on fossil fuels and ease the cost of living crisis.

The Scottish Labour leader last week said the process should be “part of the mix” as he relaunched his “Green Labour” campaign .

Sarwar is challenging his party to think big on ways to tackle climate change and press the Scottish Government to match its rhetoric on the environment with action.

The GMB trade union is also a vocal supporter of nuclear energy in Scotland despite SNP opposition.

Both the SNP and Scottish Greens are firmly opposed to the building of new nuclear power stations in Scotland.

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