Blair faces controversial decisions on energy

Nov 22 | Updated: Nov 23 2005, 05:43am hrs
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said the government faces difficult and controversial decisions on energy policy, a sign he is prepared to back building new nuclear power plants.

There are going to be difficult and controversial decisions that the government has got to take, he told an all- party Parliamentary committee in London on Tuesday. There are real issues on climate change and energy and security of supply that will mean issues that are bound to be controversial.

Aging nuclear and coal-fired stations that generate 40% of Britains power will be closed in the next decade, and the government has to decide how to replace them. Blair on Sept. 27 said a review of energy policy will be published next year and the option of new nuclear power stations should not be ruled out.

Blair has become convinced that building new nuclear power plants is the only way to meet commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and minimise Britains reliance on oil and gas from the Middle East and Russia, the Times newspaper reported on Monday without saying where it got the information.