UK electricity industry publishes first review

Environmental report shows downward trend in emissions, tackles other impacts

Major UK electricity generators and suppliers have published their first environmental report. Collated by the Electricity Association (EA), the figures show a downward trend from 1990 to 1994 in emissions of carbon dioxide (-19%), sulphur dioxide (-35%) and nitrogen oxides (-32%). Much of the improvement was due to fuel switching, from coal and oil to gas, and an increase in the proportion of UK electricity supplied by nuclear power stations from 20% in 1990 to 25% in 1995. The EA also points to improvements in the average thermal efficiency of conventional power stations and investment in emission abatement technology. The report outlines the industry's other chief environmental issues, including the abstraction of cooling water, leaks of insulating fluid from underground cables, and use of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and the global warming gas sulphur hexafluoride in electrical transformers and switchgear. Meanwhile, UK nuclear electricity generator, Nuclear Electric says in its 1996-97 environmental report that one of its sites should become the first nuclear power station in Europe to be registered under the EU eco-management and audit scheme (EMAS).

Follow Up:
Electricity Association, tel: +44 171 963 5700; Nuclear Electric, tel: +44 1452 652 222.

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