Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Nuclear Power

Tony Blair has just announced that nuclear power is "back on the agenda with a vengeance". I think most people who know me know I'm against this for a number of reasons, the main one being that we have an atrocious record over only a few decades of keeping nuclear material safe, see here for the obvious one, or here for my rant about Cookridge hospital's disaster. If in only a few decades of having nuclear power we can't manage to safely transport and store nuclear waste, who on earth trust any government to safely store waste for the (approximately) 10,000 years it takes before this stuff presents no danger? I'll guarantee not many people spotted this little piece about a leak at Sellafield (sorry Windscale) which went un-noticed for months. Also gung ho American firms want to take over running Windscale which is (sarcasm warning) fantastic, if that happened we'd have a foreign firm storing nuclear waste in a country they had no allegiance to, and from whom they could escape the law by merit of being "american".

George Monbiot, who is a respected environmentalist who writes for the guardian has a lot to say about the true cost of nuclear power stations inthis article showing the "true" cost.

All I can think is that Tony wants new work on Nuclear Power stations as he intends for Britain to flaunt the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty by developing a new generation of British nuclear weapons, and he needs a nuclear power industry to help make that job easier and cheaper, as the costs will be hidden in subsidies to the nuclear power industries.

The carbon costs alone of mining and transporting Uranium, Processing it, and building a "safe" power station actually means that WITHOUT taking in to account disposal of waste, a nuclear plant emits more CO2 than a conventional coal or gas powered station. In fact, buried in this economist article even American economists think that once debt write-offs, government subsidies and externalities are accounted for, the true cost of a Nuclear power plant is something close to double what "official" sources tell us.

I've remained loyal to Labour ONLY because my local MP George Mudie is "old labour" and a decent chap, and a rebel when it takes him, but that loyalty is wearing thin fast. (he failed me on identity cards, but that's another story)

So if you are against nuclear power, and a new generation of nuclear weapons, speak out now, and speak out loudly, you might think no-one will hear, but if you don't speak out, who will? you want to rely on me?

No comments: