Panel Backs New British Reactor

LONDON—Proponents of nuclear power received a boost recently with the recommendation of a government panel to build a pressurized water reactor at Sizewell in Suffolk. The 3,000-page report, written by Sir Frank Layfield, a planning lawyer, is the product of a four-year inquiry into the subject. Rob Campbell, the managing director of Babcock Power, a manufacturer of steam generators, said the report "signals the light at the end of the tunnel"

February 23, 1987

LONDON—Proponents of nuclear power received a boost recently with the recommendation of a government panel to build a pressurized water reactor at Sizewell in Suffolk. The 3,000-page report, written by Sir Frank Layfield, a planning lawyer, is the product of a four-year inquiry into the subject. Rob Campbell, the managing director of Babcock Power, a manufacturer of steam generators, said the report "signals the light at the end of the tunnel" after a decade of anti-nuclear protests. The plant, if confirmed by Parliament, will mean $2.5 billion in contracts, 90 percent of which are expected to go to U.K. companies, for work ranging from turbines to computer software.

Others have taken a more cautious approach. Timothy O'Riordan, an environmental scientist at the University of East Anglia, welcomed the report's emphasis on "more consistent and efficient" safety measures and the proposal for parliamentary scrutiny of arrangements to cope with human errors as recognition of the potential harm from such power plants. Britain has 12 nuclear power plants, all gas-cooled, which supply about 19 percent of its electricity.

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