Monday, April 06, 2009

nuclear generation and climate change


I had a little epiphany on how to respond to the various eminent environmentalist voices coming out in support of new nuclear builds as a way to combat climate change. Its quite simple:
If the UK government can't organise any sort of safe, effective, efficient policies to remediate climate change, why do you imagine they will safely, efficiently and effectively manage a new program of nuclear builds?
Well, Lovelock, Lynas et al.?

Addition 19\04\09:

Just to pop a radioactive cherry on top of this argument- which I smugly consider to be irrefutable, BTW- we have this article from the Graun with the following passage:
"During the miners' strike of 1972, the nation's nuclear plants were run at full stretch in order to supply electricity to a beleaguered nation. As a result, it proved impossible to process all the waste that was being generated. Cladding and fuel were simply thrown into B38's cooling ponds and left to disintegrate."
Now, does anyone else consider this to be an acceptable way to run a nuclear power station? No? I thought not. You see, the government- any UK government, that is- is dedicated to retaining power. The only way it can do that is by demonstrating a superficial devotion to the public's wellbeing. Superficial because at face value the government's actions in ordering nuclear power stations to be run at "full-stretch . . . to a beleaguered nation" appear to be an act of common sense. I am not sure that the order to do so came direct from the cabinet, it may well have, I don't know. Ultimately, however, the government is responsible for overseeing the safe operation of the electricity generating industry and so responsibility is ultimately theirs. That this philosophy would result in incredibly dangerous practices should have been obvious, however the political expediency of being seen to be "doing something" clearly overrode any threat associated with the dangerous practice of failing to account for high-level waste that was "simply thrown into B38's cooling ponds and left to disintegrate".

And so we find ourselves, nearly 40 years down the line, facing a fantastically expensive clean-up operation that hopes- at best- merely to reorganise this incredibly dangerous material in a new storage location as there exists no "final solution" to the issue of high-level nuclear waste and no credible plans to create such a solution. The miner's strike was exactl the sort of volatile political situation is almost inevitably going to result from the financial and environmental turmoil of the coming years. The government clearly hasn't learnt anything from this episode either as they are committed to a massive and irrational expansion of our nuclear generating capacity. Therefore, expect this situation to be repeated more than once in your lifetime and don't expect any more credible solutions to emerge. This is exemplified in the closing paragraph of the article:
"The lesson of Sellafield is not so much that nuclear power is dangerous but that Britain seems incapable of implementing any long-term engineering plan that comes its way, from high-speed trains to wind turbines or rocket launchers."

Alternatively, you could just vote for a sane government. We do, after all live in an alleged democracy.


  1. "Have your say - Nuclear Power Siting website"

    "Opens new window Following the one month public comment period, views from the public will be used alongside the advice of regulators and other specialists. Sites which are judged to be potentially suitable will be included in the draft National Policy Statement on nuclear power which will be published later this year for public consultation."

    "Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Department of energy and climate change, said: "This is another important step towards a new generation of nuclear power stations. I want to listen to what people have to say about these nominations and I encourage people to log-on to our website, read the information and let us have their comments."

    "Nuclear power is part of the low carbon future for Britain. It also has the potential to offer thousands of jobs to the UK and multi-million pound opportunities to British businesses."...

    What a farce. After you read the above you know it doesn`t matter what YOU think the government are going ahead. It`s just a PR stunt and people will buy it hook,line and sinker.

  2. Same as all the previous "consultancies" that were deemed skewed, misleading and flat-out bullshit. I am becoming aware that politics in this cuntry has lost the ability to shock me.


Feel free to share your opinions of my opinions. Oh- and cocking fuckmouse.