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Campaigner condemns memo

PUBLISHED: 10:58 14 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:10 03 March 2010

A LEADING anti-nuclear campaigner has condemned an internal memo circulated by British Energy suggesting employees lobby "opinion formers" about the future of nuclear power.

A LEADING anti-nuclear campaigner has condemned an internal memo circulated by British Energy suggesting employees lobby "opinion formers" about the future of nuclear power.

The message has caused further controversy by urging those workers who do decide to follow up the suggestion and write to MPs and Government ministers not to disclose that they work for the company.

In a memo, one of British Energy's senior managers says: "In my opinion your communication will have a greater impact if you write as a member of the public.

"If you agree, do not use the British Energy E-mail or letterhead, use your home address or system."

British Energy is engaged in a rearguard action to try to save the nuclear industry which, according to leaked reports, is not to be given any special aid as a result of the Government's energy review.

Unless further plants are commissioned, Sizewell B, based on the Suffolk coast, will be the only operating nuclear power station in the UK by the year 2020, the rest of the plants having been closed down.

British Energy, which owns Sizewell B, said that it had been very open in urging its employees to write to politicians making the case for nuclear power.

Spokesman Doug McRoberts said the memo concerned – sent out by a senior manager based in Scotland - had only gone to staff in a "small" department, not to all the company's 8,000 employees.

"It was a personal response. He was just trying to help," he added.

Mr McRoberts said the company was not commenting on the rights or wrongs of the memo and the manager concerned had not been reprimanded.

But Charles Barnett, chairman of the Shut Down Sizewell Campaign, described the memo as "quite disgraceful".

"It is evidence of the duplicity endemic in the nuclear industry. They are covertly trying to revive a dying industry," he said.

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