NuGen Told By the Advertising Standards Authority Not to Repeat Lie
Bigging Up Moorside…..
– But This Does Not Go Far Enough!
Letter sent today to Tim Farron MP
I would be very grateful if you could ask Secretary of State Amber Rudd
the following on Radiation Free Lakeland’s behalf.
In April the proposers of three AP1000 reactors on greenfields and
floodplain near Sellafield, put out an advertorial in all Cumbrian
newspapers. This double page advertorial stated that the proposed
Moorside nuclear power station would provide about “7% of the UK’s energy
Energy v Electricity
NuGen had printed the word ‘energy’ meaning ‘electricity’ The station
would actually be predicted to only supply less than 2% of future UK
energy demand (see below).
We wrote to the ASA pointing out that NuGen’s advertorial was out by a
factor of X 3.5 bigging up the importance of the scheme.
Following new law, making nuclear new build a Nationally Important
Infrastructure Project, the “test of public support” is the only thing
between Cumbria and new nuclear build. What that “ test of public
support” is to be has not been revealed but we suspect it will involve the
The ASA reply of 7th August states: “Nugen have assured us that the ad has
been withdrawn and that they will not repeat the claim “NuGen’s Moorside
Project aims to provide approximately seven percent of the UK’s current
energy requirement” in their future advertising. We consider that this
will resolve the complaint without referring the matter to the ASA Council
and will consequently be closing our file.”
We do not consider this to have resolved the complaint in any way.
Does the Secretary of State agree that this was no mere one off run of the
mill advert? It was a double page advertorial in EVERY paper in Cumbria
promoting the most dangerous technology there is in order to facilitate
untried, untested reactors next to the most dangerous nuclear site there
Given the importance of this issue shouldn’t NuGen put an equally
prominent advert in every
newspaper in Cumbria apologizing for their mistake in bigging up the
importance of their proposed nuclear plant to the power of x 3.5 ?
The ASA give no indication as to whether they consider NuGen’s ‘mistake’
accidental or deliberate and we will be writing to them to urge them to
reconsider their decision.
We do not consider the ASA’s very mild response to be robust enough given
that the advertorial was part of the industry’s official consultation and
sanctioned by government.
It seems that a double page nuclear power advertorial sanctioned by
government and published in every Cumbria paper can lie about the energy
predicted and be allowed to get away without an equally prominent printed
apology for that deception in the press. What does that say for trust in
governance? How can the public have any confidence at all in the honest
integrity of either NuGen’s or government’s nuclear new build ambitions?
On behalf of
Radiation Free Lakeland
PS this is by no means the only instance of bigging up nuclear in the
public domain but it is an important one.
CC Advertising Standards Authority