'New nuclear' energy: the great green rip-off
The government has told us that we need more nuclear power stations to combat climate change. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Nuclear power is incredibly expensive and incredibly dangerous. The New Economics Foundation estimates that to pay for building new reactors and processing their waste, nuclear power providers could increase our electricity bills by almost three times the industry estimate. So that's a hike from £45 a quarter to around £100.
Opting for ten new nuclear power plants is a quick fix solution that will leave us with a terrible legacy of cancer-causing radioactive waste that nobody knows what to do with.
If nuclear power is allowed to get a grip on the energy sector now it could kill off any hope of a viable, affordable market in truly renewable forms of energy.
Reports by Greenpeace, the New Economics Foundation, the Sustainable Development Commission, the Centre for Alternative Technology and many other respected organisations have outlined strategies for future energy provision that does not include nuclear power.
WE HAVE TO STOP THIS NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.
We want a future, not a disaster.
Max Priesemann commented
Sad that I can not vote anymore. This is certainly a campiagn in great need!
John Madgin commented
Every year are energy prices rise and every year the Government want to build more Power Stations to cope with the rise in usage. Well i would like to know why instead of wasting energy in our homes because of bad build. The Government is not forcing are builders to fully insulate New Home Build to cope with climate change hence saving and why they are not offering a more substantial deal for insulation including a good Double Glazing in existing homes.
Colin Megson commented
We want a future that is energy-rich for every individual on Earth, for all of time.
Start the ball rolling in the UK. Vote for this:
Rob 197 commented
Hmm. On the fence, but…
Some of these anti-nuclear videos and links posted here are not exactly from reliable or unbiased sources. The scientific evidence and credibility presented in some of these articles is not well sourced.
As a couple of examples...
Little actual factual evidence is presented about insect mutations. The program and participants clearly have their own agenda. Who actually is fairewinds.com?
Again, http://www.corecumbria.co.uk/newsapp/pressreleases/pressmain.asp?StrNewsID=302 - there is just a mention of "As confirmed by the Environment Agency.", not a specific source or name of a person. The site also already has its own strong agenda and is not exactly unbiased
Where-as I agree that nuclear is not ideal, and renewables are preferable, you are not going to traction with rational people if you are citing such dubious sources.
This bbc horizon documentary is an interesting watch...
One wonders why anyone would want to build more of these things!
Thanks Herbert Eppel!
Please everyone get your friends voting on this issue we really need to come together on this issue now. nuclear policy is being greatly challenged because of the enlightened behaviour of the rest of the world turning away from nuclear. It's time for us to get together and put a stop to this industry.
Getting 38 degrees to campaign on this issue would really help bring it into the mainstream publics awareness, the contracts for difference that the government and the industry are working on will tie ALL FUTURE GOVERNMENTS INTO THIS GOVERNMENTS ENERGY POLICY. The implication of this is that this is a policy that could bankrupt UK taxpayers over the next sixty years and then leave my grandchildren witrh a toxic legacy that no one can handle. People it's time to wake up and smell the bullshit! Right now the government are working on passing the contracts for difference into law under the auspicies of the energy act. This ACT will favour nuclear and all the rest of the fossil fuel based centrally controlled energy streams instead of facilitating a move to renewables. The nuclear industry always has and always will undermine renewable technologies because renewable technologies give us some degree of autonomy whereas nuclear and fossils keep us dependent on the government and the military. Please share this campaign on your social networks and also insert it as a comment on other camapaign suggestions that mention coal and oil and fracking but ignore nuclear in their analysis. Frack off recognise that fracking and nuclear as well as Tar sands are all extreme energy solutions that are essentially the powerful elites scraping the bottom of the energy barrel. It's time to say no to new nuclear. http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/1035 Anyone who thinks nuclear is green is suffering from a bad case of Dogma! either that or they are industry stooges.
Herbert Eppel commented
In case you haven't seen this:
"The Coalition Agreement between the Tories and Lib Dems pledged to not subsidise nuclear power. Despite this, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Lib Dem Ed Davey, now seems to be prepared to bow to Treasury pressure and kill off the onshore wind industry, whilst pretending the Government is not planning to subsidise dangerous new reactors. Greenpeace calculates that the onshore wind subsidy that the Treasury is so concerned about amounts to about £20 million per year. This rather puts EDF’s demand for £2.8 billion a year into perspective. All this had led some to question the rationality of The Treasury, which seems to be contemplating hiking consumers’ energy bills to support an industry with a dreadful record of delivering on time and budget, whilst at the same time killing off one of Britain’s most successful industries. Doug Parr, Chief Scientist at Greenpeace tweeted that the Treasury was “Not rational - if they aren't sane how can we trust them with the nation’s finances?”
Renato Rodrigues commented
As Renewables are expensive and have certain limitations, we need something else and a lot of it! In densely populated countries, like the UK and most European nations, this will mean going for coal or nuclear. Nuclear is potentially harmful and produces smaller quantities of very toxic waste. Coal is EFFECTIVELY harmful and produces huge amounts of air pollution and waste, which we happily breath, apart from the contribution to Climate Change, which I need not explain how dangerous it can be. Gas is similar to coal, only less harmful.
The nuclear operators are being allowed to cap their liability at €0.7bn or at most €1.3bn. Costs of Fukushima disaster are well over 100 times this and rising. No other industry is allowed to evade liablity in this way. The industry says the public have a poor perception of risk and that although a nuclear accident could be catastrophic and cause us to lose our homes and towns, the chances of it happening are so small that we should not worry about it. The fact that their shareholders are not willing to accept the same supposedly negligible risk that they might lose their money tells us everything.
Nuclear will also eat most of the investment that could otherwise have gone into energy efficiency and renewable energy - just as it has since the 1960's.
As part of the campaign, could we encourage people to SWITCH from nuclear suppliers (EDF and Centrica/British Gas) to suppliers that invest in renewables like Ecotricity.
Oh yes! Sellafield are going to tackle....mosquitos?!!
Unusual pathways by which radioactivity routinely escapes the confines of nuclear sites are well documented with one recent example to hit the headlines being the 6000 mile transportation of radioactive contamination by bluefin tuna from the polluted waters around the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant to the coasts of North America. An even more recent case has however turned up very much closer to home – at Sellafield.
No stranger to unusual pathways for radioactivity - as 2000 Cumbrian feral pigeons and a host of seagulls will know to their cost - the site’s latest victims have been identified as a number of swallows which, gorging on the mosquitos that flit over the waters of Sellafield’s radioactive storage ponds, have taken up residence in Sellafield’s transport section.
As confirmed by the Environment Agency last week to a meeting of the Environmental Health Sub-Committee of the West Cumbria Sites Stakeholder Group, the birds’ droppings from around their roost/nesting sites have been found to be radioactively contaminated. Whilst neither the contamination levels nor the number of swallows involved was provided, the Environment Agency told the Committee that measures were being taken by Sellafield Ltd to tackle the mosquito problem.
CORE’s spokesman Martin Forwood commented;
“These much-loved and now radioactive birds and their offspring will unwittingly be carrying a highly toxic message from Sellafield when they migrate back to Southern Africa at the end of the summer - a distance at least equivalent to that recently undertaken by the bluefin tuna. We’ll be pressing the Agency
Some people worry about nuclear power because they fear the risks to human health from radioactivity. Others are concerned about the morality of leaving a legacy of radioactive wastes that will be dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years. Others again are concerned about the risks of proliferating nuclear weapons since no-one has yet found a way to make atoms work for peace without also making them available for war. These are all legitimate concerns but what has begun to trouble me more recently is the impact of nuclear power on the ability of some people to reason. Nuclear power seems to have acquired the power to destroy logic. In its presence otherwise intelligent, highly educated, well informed people in responsible positions seem to lose all power to reason logically. The ability of nuclear power to destroy logic was also displayed yesterday by the Energy Secretary himself. Throughout the day he repeatedly asserted that nuclear power was the cheapest way to decarbonise the British economy. It has long been acknowledged that off-shore wind is expensive. Its electricity currently costs about £135/MWh. Many commentators have argued that this is much too expensive and should be abandoned. As a report from Citi last week showed, assuming nuclear power stations are built on time and to budget, something that has not so far been possible for the type of reactor EDF want to build in Britain, their electricity would cost £166/MWh. I find it difficult to follow the logic that allows someone to argue that something that is £31/MWh more expensive is really cheaper. Maybe Ed Davey should change his name to Alice.
Tom Burke 23rd May 2012
David von Geyer Yes, it is obvious that the people are very keen to go the renewable way, but the government have got other agendas
I think, at the moment, our only hope of not having a new generation of nuclear poser stations, will be the rising cost.
Of course they will try to extend the life of present reactors, but I still maintain that is not a valid reason to re-build. Pressure has to be brought to bear on this most intractable and blinkered of governments, to invest in renewables.
Jude. I meant to point out that we can easily be ensnared into accepting agreements that, whether by design or by expedient negligence, do not meet the substance of our objections. I am arguing that, for example, if the govt says “OK we have listened to you and we shall have no new uranium fission reactors” we have to be careful that ten years down the line they are not ‘forced’ (as they would put it) to extend the lives of creaky old ones that may actually be more dangerous than new ones.
Such matters (like being nuclear free in ten years time) have to be put into law and I think now is the time to do it because the incentives have changed following collapse in Europe, technological advances that may not have been considered, and given public is awareness of the horror of Fukushima. Despite govt lead media attempts at whitewash people can see for themselves and a reasoned campaign and proposal by 38 degrees would be well justified.
David von Geyer commented
The government has set allocated £200million for renewable energy projects. Compare that with the £2billion discount given to Richard Branson for acquiring part of Northern Rock. There are many renewable energy projects worth investing in, an interesting one is http://www.energyshare.com/poole-tidal-energy-partnership/ Unlike nuclear, with this project there is no danger AT ALL.
Zotric, that is never a good argument for building new nuclear power stations. If a thing is dangerous it doesn't matter a fig if it's old or new....
I think we need to be careful here about what we ask for.
Yes I do agree that new fission based plants are a very bad idea. Fortunately the companies involved have admitted that the whole enterprise is uneconomic as evidenced by their likely withdrawal from UK based projects.
Two dangers must be addressed. One is that these companies will build in countries where they can get away with lax practices that are cheaper. Two is that we in the UK are left with aging reactors. In 10 years time do we really think the govt will be good boys and shut them down? Of course they won't. Unless legislation is passed now to condemn them to permanent shutdown. No re-naming of sites allowed!
"Science" has handed us antibiotic-resistant superbugs, the global pollution of crops and soils with synthetic pesticides, the death of the honey bees, and the mass poisoning of children with mercury through dentistry and vaccines (among other crimes). "Science" told us that nuclear power was safe ... yet here we are in 2012, on the verge of an event that could kill a quarter of the human population on the planet, and all the scientists can do is deny any problem exists at all.