'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.
The guy that invented Nuclear killed himself after creating it becouse it was very dangerous. And looking at Japans problems lately is even more of a reason not to have it.
Green energy please: wind, water
I have written to my M.P.(Mark Harper, Con. Forest of Dean) 3 times, but have not heard back from him yet!
Andrew Crow commented
Matthew (Nicholson), You have a point. And I think you are quite correct in your assertion that the Japanese are not 'differently competent' to ourselves. If your MP thinks differently she may not be racist but I'm fairly sure she is wrong. You do well to withhold your electoral support and I say that unaware of which party banner she stands under.
My belief is that current and intended future practice is to store all nuclear waste proximal to its production site, overground, until it 'cools down'. I'm not entirely clear about how long this cooling takes, but once cool the intention, in some quarters, is that it be transported to West Cumbria and put into a large purpose-built hole in the ground. This we are seriously expected to believe is a responsible approach to the long-term 'disposal' of radioactive waste. Personally I'm not convinced.
Dominic Smith commented
Why do we drag our heals with renewable technologies and investment into this science! We need to view this as an opportunity for the UK to lead the way, not an excuse to rely on this now dated technology-one look at the recent terrible events in Japan and the Fukushima Daiichi's nuclear power station makes you realise that we need to invest money, time and initiative into a safer, cleaner future for all!
please sign this petition until 38 degrees raises one;
Take a look at this British company with there remake of an old idea but with new technology, have a look at the videos very interesting. Coal is hear to stay at the moment it's how you use it which needs to change, hydrogen is possibly the future..
This company has excellent partners and some very good reports, it gets my vote to a cleaner future..
Letter from Climate Energy World Future Council Foundation: "I don't know the real intention of Monbiot to raise the question of radiation consequences, but there is no doubt that nuclear radiation is one of the deadliest threats to human beings. Questioning scientific sources for that is one thing, but downplaying the devastating consequences of Chernobyl and leaving aside the world's most eminent scientific source for that is cynical. Monbiot's article is suggestive of neglecting the victims of Chernobyl as the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (Unscear) only acknowledged a relatively small number. It is also surprising that the author does not consider the World Health Organisation, the UN Environment Prog! ramme and Unicef. They have counted 148,247 invalids until December 2000 directly related to Chernobyl."
"Germany will shut down all its nuclear power stations by 2020, according to the government’s Secretary of State for the Environment and Nuclear Safety, Jürgen Becker. His comments were made earlier today to Reuters during a meeting of the International Renewable Energy Association (IREA) in the United Arab Emirates"
Dean Ashton commented
The UKs current aging nuclear reactors will need to be replaced soon. We can't replace them with coal or gas because of climate change and CO2. The question is do we replace them with nuclear or renewables? Current nuclear solutions are costly and produce a lot of radioactive waste. Next generation thorium reactors are unproven and the costs for this are not fully known. Current renewable technology is coming down in price dramatically, but are too small scale to replace nuclear at the moment. Next generation large scale renewable power plants are still a short way off, however, they are already proven in small scale trial power stations in many countries (e.g. Spain, Australia, USA during the 1980s) in comparison to thorium reactors which are not proven anywhere yet, they are just drawings so far. The cost of large scale renewable energy power plants is only going to come down as technology improves, whereas thorium reactors will probably go up, because the basic technique is not proven yet.
Nuclear is so costly because you have to protect against the types of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, tornados, loss of electricity, fires etc... everything must be covered, or else you have a risk of radiation exposure.
And if energy companies take shortcuts with safety measures at nuclear power plants, they could affect many people by releasing radiation. If large scale renewable energy plant companies skips some maintenance to save money... then they generate less electricity and cost themselves money, but don't affect public safety.
Can I direct you to this article in TIME.COM, where it says that the US didn't have to close down any new nuclear programs when the fear of Fukushima hit - because no investors on Wall Street want to invest in nuclear power because it is too costly (to build nuclear power stations that protect against natural disasters).
Rather than subsidise nuclear, the government should create a "manhattan project for renewables" where the smartest scientists and engineers get together at a single compound and come up with new technology to make renewables both more efficient and also very large scale.
For a look at just how long radioactivity can hang around, consider Germany's wild boars. A quarter century after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Soviet Union carried a cloud of radiation across Europe, these animals are radioactive enough that people are urged not to eat them. And the mushrooms the pigs dine on aren't fit for consumption either. Germany's experience shows what could await Japan – if the problems at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant get any worse.
Huffington Post 1st April 2011
Dave at Vote For Yourself commented
This subject will be debated until the public get to decide. The idea that we have to invest in nuclear because fossil fuels are diminishing and that renewables won't fill the gap is false. Renewables can fill the gap, here's how. We could spend the budget for new nuclear power stations building solar panel factories and train thousands of people to install them on every roof. 25 square metres of hybrid PV panels (these produce thermal and electricity - that's a 17 x 17 foot array), would provide all the heat and electricity for an average home in Northern Europe. You'd be pumping PV electricity into the grid and then drawing electricity back down. In the winter you might use more electricity than you produced and might need a boost for heating. Solay renewables are in their infancy, as the economies of scale applied to their manufacture they would become less expensive and the R&D would improve their performance. There is absolutely no danger at all going down this route, try saying that about nuclear power.
Isabelle Anderson commented
Government claims that nuclear is 'green, safe and will promote energy security' are lies. Nuclear power is only carbon 'neutral' when the carbon emissions of uranium mining and transport, and construction of plants is ignored. Uranium is a finite resource just like oil, gas and coal and is expected to run out within 100 years (or sooner with increased demand) - we need long-term renewable energy solutions and investment not new nuclear!
"a safe and clean source of energy" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ?????????There are none so blind and deaf as those who don't wish to see or hear the truth.
Read this and then tell me I'm a scare-monger.
By the way, Britain has regular earthquakes and has had a tsunami before.
D Tizzle commented
If we're serious about combatting climate change we need to use every technology we have. It's already too late to stop it, and we need to act quickly to do mitigate the effects. I don't see the sense of attacking a clean and safe source of energy as environmentalists. I'm not particularly pro-nuclear, but because it's a waste of money, not because of the 'dangers'. The environmental anti-nuclear arguments are ideologically-based, products of scaremongering and totally unfounded. There is no risk of an earthquake in the UK, and more chance of a comet destroying us than one on the scale of that in Japan hitting. The technology is completely safe. Even the Japan quake, as Monbiot has pointed out, couldn't dream of having as serious an impact as coalmining and coal-fired power stations would and do, which are certain to be its replacement in reality.
We do need to promote renewables as the number 1 alternative but unless we cover the entire island in windfarms they simply won't do the job quickly enough. Simple as that.
So why attack nuclear so vociferously? It's a negative argument when there are many more important issues to be campaigning on which have a rational basis.
From 'The Guardian' today. Is this what we want more of in the future?
"Radiation fears have prevented authorities from collecting the bodies of as many as 1,000 people living in the evacuation zone who died in the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.
Kyodo news agency cited police sources as saying the corpses had been exposed to high radiation levels and would probably have to be decontaminated before they could be collected and examined by doctors.
Left as they were, the bodies could pose a health threat to relatives identifying them at morgues, the agency said. Cremating them could create radioactive smoke, while burying them could contaminate soil."
....and in other places in the UK
Dave at Vote For Yourself commented
To all the "nuclear is safe" people, don't suppose you'll be rushing to Glasgow:
Traces of radioactive iodine thought to be from the damaged and unstable Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan have been detected in Britain. An air sampler in Glasgow picked up the particles.
Anyone who thinks that nuclear power is safe in ANY regard must be insane. that's the only possible explanation for such an opinion. We keep being told about our exposure to "every day radiation" being less than whatever, but that is a different kind of radiation to that made in a power station reactor. We already have enough causes of cancer in the world. We don't need more!!
Joe U235 commented
si richards commented
These power stations hold such potential for harm that all plans to build them should be abandoned. Energy reduction and efficiency should be high on the political list. Say no to nuclear, once they are built, they will be here for a long time
This is worth reading too