Sunday, 20 July 2008
Nuclear Power? ...no thanks ...yet again!
In a week that we heard of accidents at French nuclear plants its time to make it clear that we don't want more nuclear power. How did we get here? Ever since climate change, and the need to reduce our carbon outputs became accepted, the nuclear industry has cynically jumped on the bandwagon and has been pushing nuclear as a 'green' or even clean option. It hasn't helped that people like James Lovelock have endorsed the use of nuclear power.
But there is nothing green or clean about nuclear power, and in the UK there has been a culture of deception. In 1957 there was a serious accident at Windscale which was hushed up, we were told that nuclear power would be too cheap to meter - yet it has only been viable because of subsidies, and still nobody knows what to do with the high-level radioactive waste. Then there is the cost of nuclear waste disposal which has been estimated recently at £73 billion. Sir Walter Marshall, when he was head of the Atomic Energy Authority and the Central Electricity Generating Board in the 1980s, admitted that the public had been kept in the dark about accidents and the real costs of nuclear power. Should we expect things to have changed?
Of course we shouldn't expect New Labour to do anything other than pander to the wishes of big business. New Labour have dragged their feet over renewables and tried to sabotage the renewables directive on behalf of their chums in the energy companies. The fact is that they don't want sensible green solutions that would enable us to generate our own energy, they want high tech, big business solutions like nuclear because that would enable their chums to make an awful lot of money for a very long time - at the expense of us and the environment.