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Scotland Dithering over Nuclear Power Plants

Chimera 09 feb 09

It saddens us to read an article today carried by the, by Environment Correspondent, Jenny Haworth, regarding whether or not nuclear power stations should be built in Scotland. By 2015 the UK will be entering a very tricky period of DE-commissioning the current crop of nuclear plants along with a few old coal burning power plants with no operationally ready power source to bridge the gap. There is no more time for discussion, these power plants should be under construction right now!

This is a snippet from from the article:

THE head of a new climate-change body that will advise the Scottish Government has disagreed with Alex Salmond's decision not to build nuclear power stations.

Lord Adair Turner, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, said he thinks all options for providing electricity should be left open, including the creation of new nuclear power plants.

Speaking to The Scotsman ahead of a visit to Scotland on Monday, when he will give a talk on climate change, Lord Turner said: "It is an emotive issue, but at the UK level, there will be a commitment to nuclear. We think it should not be ruled out.

"The Scottish Government has to make its own decisions, but we think the challenge of dealing with climate change is so big that we should be very wary of ruling out any option that is available."

The Scottish Government is aiming to rely on a mix of renewables and "clean" fossil fuel power stations – which use technology to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions – to provide the country's electricity.

We have been talking about these alternative solutions since I was a school kid in short pants! They just don't get it do they? If and when these new technologies become available and are able to provide large quantities of power then we can give it a shot, but they are not proven and to our way of thinking they are not even on the list for consideration.

However, Mr Salmond, Scotland's First Minister is quoted as saying:

"Anything you invest – and it will be billions – in nuclear power is billions taken away from clean technology and in renewable technology,"

Jim Mather, the energy minister, added that renewables backed up by "clean thermal baseload" could meet Scotland's energy needs many times over and create thousands of jobs.

The building of nuclear power stations also creates lots of jobs! Scotland could build a number of nuclear power stations and sell the surplus electricity to England and Europe, just as the French do now, and create an income stream for the next three decades. This is an opportunity which will be regretted by the Scots.

Meantime over in Sweden they have decided to scrap the 30-year ban on new nuclear power stations. Three cheers for the Swedes, at long last another country sees the light.

Swedish public opinion polls have shown growing support for nuclear energy due to the lack of alternatives to replace the country's ten nuclear plants, that supply about 50 per cent of the country's electricity.

And finally a word from Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said: "Other countries making decisions to pursue the nuclear chimera makes it all the more important that Scotland doesn't get caught up in that game."

For those of you who's first language is not English and wonder what a chimera is, its a mythical monster, on that note we will leave you.

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Reader Comments (3)

No dithering about it at all. They've decided. They don't want them.

Even more expense on waste than the previous generation and unreliable - particularly when it comes to shutdowns. Putting all the energy eggs in a few nuclear baskets doesn't "keep the lights on".

February 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJim M

Has anyone looked into Thorium as an alternative to Uranium as the nuclear fuel for the emerging economies.Thorium is abundant in countries such as India and is non-proliferative and very eco friendly.A company called Thorium Power(THPW.OB) is very advanced in its technology and recently had some very positive press and hence the shareprice's recent surge forward .It is definitely worth taking a look.

February 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrich

in other nuclear news; i notice japan is locking up uranium product for the future, russia continues to sign contracts in asia, india, the mid-east, china is all over africa and australia. all while the u.s. dithers as well. those who can't imagine a different future; with different problems and solutions, continue locked into what they know until there is no future...glta!!

February 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterrichard mruz

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