Newbury 22 October 2008 : With tough EU emissions targets announced on Friday, attention has been focused on alternative energies to minimise reliance on carbon-based fossil fuels. Yet the lowest carbon emitting fuel is nuclear – so why isn’t it included on the low carbon/renewable energy agenda and why has all the emphasis has been on “renewables”? Could it be because the mandarins in Europe did not understand its low carbon properties? Or are suffering from mis-conceptions?

While the French who have over 80% of their electricity provided by nuclear energy may make the scientific arguments, isn’t this discussion a perfect start for the new Climate Change minister Ed Milliband to get his teeth into?

Joan Pye, founder of the Joan Pye Project,

A group of scientists independent of Government and other political and commercial organizations, said: “If the UK Government goes ahead to produce over 40% of its energy using clean nuclear technology, we could then have all the power we needed for industry and use our emissions quota to cover road transport.”

40% of nuclear power would be needed to cover the base load required by the national grid to be ‘always available’, while renewable or more nuclear energy could contribute to peak load to meet higher demand.

Joan Pye added: “If we also electrified our trains (again like the French) to reduce our carbon footprint and incentivized home owners to move over to storage heaters, we could easily meet the 2050 target of reducing our carbon emissions by 80 per cent.”