July 16, 2006

G8 document shows splits on nuclear, climate issue

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - The Group of Eight
industrial nations approved a statement on "Global Energy
Security" on Sunday that acknowledges splits over nuclear
energy and climate change among the world's top economies.

"We recognize that G8 members pursue different ways to
achieve energy security and the goals of climate protection,"
the section of the statement on nuclear energy says.

The nuclear section was unchanged from a 12-page document
obtained last week by Reuters.

"Those of us who have or are considering plans relating to
the use and/or development of safe and secure nuclear energy
believe that its development will contribute to global energy
security, while simultaneously reducing harmful air pollution
and addressing the climate change challenge," it says.

It includes a phrase German officials said was important to
Berlin, which has committed to an early phase-out of nuclear
energy by the early 2020s: "We are committed to further reduce
the risks associated with the safe use of nuclear energy."

Nuclear energy, which is making a comeback worldwide,
especially in Asia, produces no greenhouse gases and has been
hailed by some environmentalists as a good way of protecting
the climate while meeting growing demand for electricity.

Critics, however, say there is no good solution for the
storage of dangerous nuclear waste. They also say that nuclear
power plants are vulnerable to terrorist attacks and result in
an increased risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.