Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Nuclear Power, Good for the Economy, Good for the environment, Good for the UK

So if everyone is so concerned about reducing the UK’s carbon footprint - then how come close to half of the UK’s Nuclear power stations are out of action on the run up to winter? Apparently a lack of funding...

Nuclear power stations are capable of producing realistic amounts of electricity, unlike many other so-called renewable energy sources, moreover if more were built we could not only make a serious dent in out carbon footprint we could reduce our exposure to gas supply problems and the impact of Gazprom’s muscle flexing.

France, known for looking out for their own interests, get 79% of their electricity from Nuclear energy, they have 59 plants. They don’t seem to have much problem keeping them running either. We by comparison have a pathetic 16 plants that produce (when they are working) around 18% of our power.

If UK greens/environ-mentalists had spent less time bleating about nuclear power in the 80s and 90s then they might not have shot themselves in the foot over carbon emissions.

The French have a realistic attitude to nuclear power. The French launched a properly funded, comprehensive nuclear program, after the 1973 ‘oil shock’, when OPEC toyed with the west by ramping up oil prices, sensibly vowing never again to be dependent on the whim of others for power. Unlike the UK, in France, nuclear energy is accepted, even popular.

Even James Lovelock (Gaia hypothesis) thinks that nuclear power is the only real green solution to reducing carbon emissions.

It makes sense for economic reasons, as we wouldn’t have to cripple the economy to save a ha’penny’s worth of power here and there and spend billions changing our housing stock.

It makes sense, because it would protect us from much of the impact of oil and gas price fluctuation and scarcity.

It makes sense, from the point of view of the environment, massively reduced carbon emissions and avoiding the threat of mercury pollution posed by low energy bulbs.

It took the French around 15 years. The UK could do the same. If anyone is worried about where to store the waste, we have some very deep ex-coal mines that would do nicely.