Tories and Labor swap positions on nuclear power in U.K.

In an interesting switcheroo, the U.K.’s Conservative Party, pro-nuclear in the past, and Prime Minister Tony Blair, skeptical of nuclear in the past, have flip-flopped. Blair this week all but promised to build new nuclear power plants to replace old ones set to go out of commission. Meanwhile, Conservative leader David Cameron declared nuclear power a “last resort,” calling instead for conservation and “a level playing field for renewable and decentralized energy to compete on equal terms with nuclear power. … That means no special favors or subsidies for nuclear power.” (The Gristomatic Stereotyper 2006 is returning an error message … does not compute …) Britain has 23 nuclear plants, 18 of which will be closed by 2015. With some gas and coal-fired power plants also needing to be closed, the U.K. must replace a quarter of its electricity generation by 2015 — and that’s assuming no increase in demand.