"Crisis" in generation overshadows hopes of a sustainable energy policy

Hopes that the Government's White Paper on energy will set out a clear route-map to a low carbon future have been rocked by the crisis in the UK's electricity generating industry. Ministers appear to have ruled out meddling with the climate change levy to bail out nuclear generator British Energy - but may be forced to pull the plug on BNFL's THORP nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. The current low wholesale price of electricity seems certain to force power station closures in the short term, and environmental groups are calling for the Government to ensure that the most polluting plant goes to the wall. But significant new capacity will be needed in the medium term - and the Government is believed to be lining up to support new nuclear build.

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