A sustainability watchdog has come out against a nuclear power station programme.

The Sustainable Development Commission, an independent government agency, concluded that there was no justification for building another generation of generators.

The commission said the environmental case was weak, as a doubling in the UK's nuclear capacity would lead to an 8% cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2035.

It listed five disadvantages:

  • Long-term waste: it is impossible to guarantee safe storage.
  • Cost: economics are uncertain with little justification for subsidy.
  • Inflexibility: nuclear would lock the UK into a centralised distribution system for the next 50 years.
  • Energy efficiency: a nuclear programme would imply that a technological fix was adequate.
  • International security: technology could not be transferred to some countries because of security risks.