Gorbachev warns UK to `look before you leap’ with nuclear power


ollution of the soil, earth and air was still causing long-term damage 20 years after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev told a British all-party parliamentary group on climate change, reported Times Online, the web edition of The Times.

President at time of disaster: Gorbachev, who was Soviet President at the time of the Chernobyl disaster, warned Britain and other countries to “look before you leap” before building more nuclear power stations.

Look at non-traditional sources of energy: He urged Western governments and businessmen to pool their efforts in the search for non-traditional sources of energy and make more effort to use energy efficiently.

Bitter experience: Gorbachev, the founder of the Geneva-based environmental group Green Cross International, recalled his own bitter experience of the dangers of nuclear energy.

“I know what I am talking about”: “With my experience of Chernobyl, I know what I am talking about,” he said, referring to the catastrophic nuclear plant explosion near Kiev in 1986.

Billions spent to combat radiation danger: The Soviet Union had been forced to spend tens of billions of roubles to combat the radiation danger, but the pollution of the soil, earth and air was still causing long-term damage.

Need for sustainable energy future: Gorbachev wrote last month to British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and other leaders of the G8 group of economies, urging them to seize the opportunity at the St Petersburg summit of the Group of Eight (G8) developed nations in July to make strong commitments to “a truly secure and sustainable energy future”.

Concern at G8 statements : He said Green Cross was “concerned” over statements made at a recent meeting of G8 energy ministers on security for the supply routes of oil and gas and facilitating growth in nuclear power.

Renewable energy relegated to secondary status: He told Blair that such an approach “lacks vision” and, by relegating renewable energy and energy efficiency to secondary status in the talks, showed that the G8 was failing to move forward on the real solutions to the energy and climate change crises.

Reference: Digest of latest news reported on website of Climate Change Secretariat of United Nations Framework on Climate Change Control (UNFCCC). 11 June 2006. Address: PO Box 260 124, D-53153 Bonn. Germany. Phone: : (49-228) 815-1005, Fax: (49-228) 815-1999. Email: press@unfccc.int

Erisk Net, 14/6/2006

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