Azara Blog: More mumblings about nuclear power

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Date published: 2006/01/23

The BBC says:

It is time to decide to "close... or open the door" to nuclear power, Trade Secretary Alan Johnson has said.

He said the 2003 Energy White Paper "had rightly" focused on boosting renewable energy and energy efficiency, but left the door "ajar" on nuclear.

But, as a public consultation into UK future energy needs begins, he said it was time to take a decision on nuclear.

Critics say nuclear power is too expensive, is a terror threat and creates much radioactive waste.

Mr Johnson spoke out as it emerged that ministers had asked the Health and Safety Executive to look at the safety, cost and suitability of existing nuclear plants.

Environmental campaigners fear the HSE study is a prelude to an expansion of Britain's nuclear network.

They believe the HSE review, set to take 18 months, has been requested to save time if the government does give the go-ahead for new power stations.

Mr Johnson says he still has an open mind, but adds that it is "crucial" to consider how Britain will meet its energy needs in the next 50 or 60 years.

He said the HSE would also look into the viability of other ways of generating power, such as wind turbines, gas transport and storage and carbon capture and storage.

And as he launched a three-month public consultation on the issue, he said: "We need to look at the risks to security of supply, our climate change commitments and, to the long term, to make sure we take the necessary action. There is not a do-nothing option."
...
Keith Taylor, the Green Party principal speaker, said nuclear power was "astronomically expensive", was "incredibly dangerous" and used fossil fuels at every stage in the process apart from fission itself.

What a great comment by Taylor that nuclear power "used fossil fuels at every stage in the process apart from fission itself". Gee whiz, the same could be said about solar and wind power (i.e. there is a massive amount of fossil fuel consumed up front in order to make and install solar and wind power facilities, and only then is there "carbon free" power generated, if you also ignore maintenance and de-commissioning). Funnily enough the so-called environmentalists always fail to mention this when pushing their propaganda for those energy sources. (But solar and wind power are at least less problematic than nuclear power for other reasons.)

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