Nasa scientist Dr James Hansen says no to coal-fired power


A world climate change expert has said the UK should not build any more coal-fired power stations.

Nasa scientist Dr James Hansen was speaking to BBC Scotland ahead of being awarded the prestigious Edinburgh Medal at the city's Science Festival.

Plans have been put forward for coal-fired facilities at Grangemouth and Hunterston in Ayrshire.

Dr Hansen said a mixture of new-build nuclear and renewables was the best combination to prevent climate change.

Speaking on Newsnight Scotland he said: "For base load electric power, I think that we need next generation nuclear power, which can be much safer and which can burn nuclear waste and solve that major problem with nuclear power."

Last month it emerged that US firm, Summit Power Group, is planning to build a coal-fuelled power station at the port of Grangemouth, on the Firth of Forth.

The plant would use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology in a bid to reduce emissions by more than 90%.

A public inquiry is due to be carried out before the Scottish government makes a final decision on proposals for a similar facility at Hunterston.

In November last year North Ayrshire Council rejected plans by Ayrshire Power for a coal-fired station but company vowed to fight on.

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