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Decc shares policy information with nuclear industry

Government officials have been meeting with energy companies in an effort to promote plans for new nuclear power stations, The Guardian reports.

Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act by the Department of Energy and Climate Change reveal minutes of a meeting between the department’s Office for Nuclear Development (OND) and EDF on 15 September about the handling of the company’s application for the first of the new nuclear stations at Somerset’s Hinkley Point.

Rob Edwards writes that although the documents were redacted, the text was so poorly blacked out that it can be read with ease. It outlines how EDF was briefed about the government’s regulatory justification of the nuclear programme, electricity market reform, the new fast-track planning regime, nuclear decommissioning, nuclear policy statements and developments in the European Union.

FoIA documents also show that on 7 September, OND passed the Nuclear Industry Association, which represents 260 companies, a list of 31 documents lodged in court by Greenpeace relating to its battle against the nuclear power programme.

The Guardian also mentions that the 15 September meeting shows OND was planning to send EDF documents about the government’s “defence grounds” about the Greenpeace case. Last month EDF was fined £1.3 m for spying on the environmental group in France.

The news comes after FoIA requests revealed yesterday that EDF has seconded several employees to Decc on a free and long term basis to assist the department with work on energy issues.

Number of super-rich rises

An FoIA investigation conducted by the BBC has revealed that the number of super-rich individuals paying tax in the UK have increased dramatically. Martin Rosenbaum reports that over a five year period up to 2010, the number of UK taxpayers with an annual taxable income over £10m, rose from 131 to 274.

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