'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.
chinks grylls commented
The future energy needs graphs, show there is no need for nuclear.Each reactor takes up to 10 years to build before it even starts producing energy.Nuclear Power is not 24/7.Shutdowns can often take months.It is NOT sustainable in any shape or form.It is a dirty technology leaving highly radioactive waste for generations to come.
Robert Minter commented
This is rubbish. Eventually we may be able to do without nuclear power and rely on renwables alone if we reduce human numbers by about 90%. Until then nuclear is a much safer option than carbon based fuels, and has caused only a minute percentage of the deaths caused by coal, in spite of crass errors in the past.
stephen blomfield commented
Nuclear power was developed in this country in order to breed weapon's grade plutonium 239. We now have tons of the stuff and nothing to do with the stuff and nowhere to put it, along with all sorts of other highly fissile waste material. The Plutonium will remain a hazard for a million years. How long can one guarantee that any storage site will remain intact and safe for so long? It is a short term solution outweighed by longterm costs.
Let's stop this before it gets any worse- I can't support nuclear when we can't get rid of the dangerous waste!
One campaign on this site is against nuclear, another is against wind farms, pylons. What exactly do you all want? The ability to use as much energy as you want, to charge your mobile or stand for 10 minutes in a power shower or walk around in shirt sleeves during the winter? Perhaps we should open up the coal mines again and then you can start moaning about them? Of course, whilst demanding exponential amounts of really cheap energy and at the same time expecting China and India to go without as they begin to enjoy the luxuries we have taken for granted all our lives: I have little doubt. How about joining the real world instead, give the siutationb real thought instead of a winge.
sue underhill commented
its not 'green' and its waste is not clean - its just another way for corporates to profit. We should be looking at all new building (domestic and commercial) being required to build in energy saving and generating features such as ground heat sources or solar panels.
lisa dishman commented
we are going to be struggling to produce enough green electricity for our basic needs well into the future. Please join the fight against HS2 which at 250mph uses more than twice as much electricity as 125mph trains (which are considered high speed in europe). Does scotland and the north have to be disfigured by windfarms and mutilated by nuclear power stations to fuel this white elephant 250mph train. the green party have joined the fight to stop HS2. will you?
Nuclear is Safe, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength
Nuclear power is top trump at the pinnacle of the industrial polluting food chain. Absolutely reliant on fossil fuel, mining, chemicals, militarism etc etc
It is not an energy strategy- it is a PR strategy which is what this campaign suggestion outlines - "The great green rip -off" Rip off merchants know that the punters have to believe they need the rip off product.
Nick Jackson commented
I have to disagree. Whilst in the very-long term Nuclear isn't a great option we simply don't have the necessary technology to provide economically sound renewable solutions such as solar, wind or tidal in the short term.
Given that we're rapidly running out of combustible fuels such as coal, oil and gas it's essential that we secure our energy future without waiting for renewable sources to become viable. Modern reactor designs produce less waste (although I acknowledge it's still a problem) and are incredibly safe.
The figures from the industry for yearly gas use alone used to look after the existing wastes at Sellafield are 500,000 tons of CO2 from the (specially built) Fellside Plant to ensure security of supply.
To mine a huge area of Cumbria for a proposed "geological disposal facility" (or 2 or 3) for high level wastes would generate greenhouse gases ad infinitum. According to the mining industry (Orica Mining Services) just the mining of "one million tonnes of coal produces about 400 tonnes of CO2-e from explosives detonation with 74,000 tonnes from diesel, electricity and seam gas emissions". Those are the emissions from an open pit. Deeper mining such as a "geological disposal facility" at 1000+ft - and at least a few miles ++ square would produce far greater emissions
including the need for continual dewatering and ventilation.
Electricity - maybe using Fellside (Sellafield's) Gas Power Plant?
Transportation of spoil etc
Methane (and radon) emissions
A petition to oppose a nuke dump like this in Cumbria can be downloaded here:
Andrew Crow commented
Nuclear energy is not carbon free. I live close to one of the roads that leads to the Sellafield site in West Cumbria. The odd centimetre of snow causing parking problems on the site carpark produces traffic tailbacks for miles. Only when it clogs like this does it become apparent what the true weight of traffic is. What do you think these cars run on? When do you believe the Sellafield site last produced any electricity? The pylon power lines from the site bring electricity onto the site they don't take it off site to the grid.
Do you know how long it takes for a nuclear power facility to produce more energy than has been used in building it? And bear in mind the carbon footprint of the reprocessing centre should properly be taken in to account also. Not to mention thousands of years' so-called secure storage.
We can absolutely rely on the Sun to shine. When it doesn't we as a species had better not be here, because we won't last twenty-four hours before we all freeze to death.
And yes the wind will always blow. And as long as we have our moon going round us we will have tidal flows.
When we know how to manage the waste safely it will be time to review the economics and practicability of nuclear energy.
I fear for your grandchildren also, but a lack of electricity will be the least of their problems. I don't believe your opinion is stupid, but I do think you are being mislead. And I believe the people responsible for misleading you have massive vested financial interests at stake. And they certainly have no consideration for your grandchildren and probably not for their own either.
Geoff Pinder commented
I disagree emphatically, nuclear energy is the ONLY carbon free source of energy available to stop the lights going out within two generations. If designed and operated sensibly and intelligently it will NOT be dangerous.
Get real, fossil fuel will soon be impossibly expensive and we CANNOT rely on energy that requires the wind to blow or the sun to shine. I fear for the future of my grandchildren in a society with no electricity.
Vic Machin commented
There's been enough written and said about Nuclear Power but the fact remains, the nuclear power industry still does NOT! Know what to do with the vast amounts of radioactive waste it has produced over the years. It is a disgrace that they can apply for a license to pollute and the government is only to happy to oblige. Nuclear Power------NO THANKS!!!!!!!!
Producing dangerous nuclear waste which we cannot deal with is an irresponsible way to produce energy.
jill gough commented
Nuclear is the essence of unsustainability - it genuinely leaves future generations to pick up the pieces - not only because the radioactive fuel rods in the planned power stations will be too hot to move for 160 years let alone 'store' or 'dispose of' but because the sickening and mutating effects of radionucleides pervading all living things are more or less 'for ever'. Better our wasteful materialistic culture and the human race decides that economic growth is not wanted, necessary or desirable and we find a better direction and motivation for the human race.
Waste, terrorism, accidents, air incidents, large-scale migratory labour, housing consequences, environmental impact, visual impact, negative impact on tourism, uranium mining and milling, pollution,cultural impact (linguistic in Wales), evacuation concerns (island population - Wylfa), geological instability...........need I say more ?
And there are real, sustainable, cheaper non-polluting alternatives !
Ruth Balogh commented
What is so scandalous about the plans to bury waste in W Cumbria is that successive governments (and the nuclear industry) have shied away from this problem for 6o years. Only when there is interest from the industry - and the inevitable public subsidies that come along with N power - does this begin to be of interest. There should be a public apology for not having taken the matter more seriously. And there should be an apology to whatever creatures are around in hundreds of thousands of years' time.
Andrew Crow commented
The best suggestion to date to dispose of nuclear waste is to did a big hole and bury it in West Cumbria.
All new nuclear should be off the agenda until we have abetter idea of what to do with the waste some of which will remain dangerous to life for a million (!) years.
It isn't an extreme statement Julie. The reason why the Germans are strongly opposing an extension to the lives of their nuke plants (no one in Germany is suggesting new build) is because of the proven link between radiation and cancer. The closer you live to a nuclear installation the greater the likelihood of radiation linked diseases. Which is why the nuclear industry runs its own Compensation Scheme for Radiation Linked Diseases for its employees( you gets your big C money with the caveat that you don't talk about it).
Julie Salter commented
I live only 3 miles from Bradwell power station. Many may find this an extreme statement, but all my dogs have died of cancer, the last two dying of mouth cancer. They swam regularly in the estuary and I am convinced there is a huge problem going on here.