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(From Guardian Unlimited)
The government and two of Britain's biggest engineering companies have been accused of taking the idea of a leading marine engineer who came up with a novel plan to harness vast amounts of tidal energy from the Severn estuary while causing only minimal ecological damage.
Rupert Armstrong-Evans, who pioneered renewable energy in Britain and now runs a marine engineering firm in Cornwall, spent 18 months researching the idea of a 12-mile long "tidal reef " for the estuary. His construction, planned to run between Minehead in Somerset and Aberthaw in the Vale of Glamorgan, would be cheaper to build and could generate as much electricity as several nuclear power stations without destroying tens of thousands of hectares of internationally protected wetlands, he claimed.
The idea was last year picked …