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Huhne: 'no subsidies for nuclear industry'

Former energy minister Chris Huhne has called on the government not to allow subsidies for the nuclear industry.

Since leaving Parliament, Huhne has forged a career as an energy expert.

He was commenting on the termination of a multi-billion-pound nuclear contract, due to a botched tendering process.

No subsidies for nuclear. That was the coalition government policy. It should be the policy again but the government seems to be relenting and saying 'no, maybe we should give a few subsidies', and it's opening the door to exactly a repetition of the sort of disaster that we see today.

It is genuinely the case that for example in Sellafield where there are a lot of research facilities, and which accounts for about 70% of the cost of total decommissioning, a lot of things were thrown away in the 1950s in the urgency to generate plutonium for the atom bomb programme, as well as generating electricity.

Those things weren't properly logged. We don't know what's in the silos, and therefore you need to have a really extensive investigative programme to find out what the problems are before you can clear them up.

And if you find out they are worse than you could conceivably have expected, that's going to cost more money, so that's basically what's been happening, and we've got this enormous increase in the cost of clear up.

– Chris Huhne, former Secretary of State for energy and climate change
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