Early Day Motion comes in the wake of Japanese crisis

The former Liberal Democrat environment spokesperson Martin Horwood has tabled an Early Day Motion (EDM) calling for the suspension of the UK’s nuclear programme.

The Cheltenham MP is among six that include Conservative Zac Goldsmith and Green Caroline Lucas who have signed the EDM, which is in response to Japan’s ongoing nuclear crisis.

The preamble to the motion, which is a proposal to be debated on a day when parliament finishes business early, argues “that events in Fukushima underline the extreme dangers inherent in nuclear power.”

It goes on to say that the situation reveals that “even the highest design and safety standards” are unable to protect against “unforeseen events and therefore calls on the Secretary of State to suspend the government’s plans for a new nuclear power programme in the UK.”

The move by the prominent Lib Dem MP will expose tensions within the party, which has traditionally been anti-nuclear power, but supported the Conservative policy on the matter in Coalition on the condition that there would be no public subsidy for the programme.

This came as Japan dispatched helicopters in an attempt to cool the No.3 reactor of the Fukushima plant, which was severely damaged by last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami, so as to avoid a meltdown.

Check out tomorrow’s issue of Building for more on the fallout from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.