The UK’s reliance on nuclear power will increase “significantly” over the next two decades, the business secretary, John Hutton, has admitted.
Hutton says he expects a new generation of nuclear power stations to be built to supply much more of the country’s electricity than the 19 per cent the existing ones deliver.
He also said he would “pull out all the stops” to maximise the expansion of nuclear power, as an answer to climate change and Britain’s reliance on inputted gas.
“We need the maximum contribution from nuclear sources in the next 10 to 15 years,” Mr Hutton” said. Asked if the government wanted the share of electricity generated from nuclear to increase beyond 19 per cent, he replied: “That’s the ambition we should have … I’d be very disappointed if it’s not significantly above the current level.”
Has anyone told him about nuclear proliferation….
Or the fact that nuclear is NOT the answer to climate change…
Or the fact we haven’t worked out what to do with the waste yet…
Or the fact that nuclear is uneconomic..
Oh never mind…
I fail to understand the relationship between an aggressive program of new nuclear construction in the UK and nuclear proliferation. If I am not mistaken, the UK has been a nuclear weapons power for more than 50 years. It not only knows how to build weapons, but it already has a sufficient number of them for effective deterrence.
If nuclear fission power – which is clean enough to run inside a submarine is not a tool that can be used in the battle against climate change, then is climate change really that important to you. Not only is fission a proven source of emission free power, but it is one that has already proven that it can be rapidly employed on a large enough scale to make a difference. The world’s nuclear power plants provide more than 16% of its electricity, and that market share was essentially captured over a 20 year period of construction. The construction process stopped as a result of many factors, but the active opposition from competitive energy sources played a huge part in that process.
We know exactly how to handle the by products safely – we have been doing it for more than 50 years and not a single person anywhere in the world has been harmed by accidental exposure to the routine by products. In comparison, the WHO estimates that tens of thousands of people die prematurely each year because of exposure to the deadly emissions from fossil fuel energy sources.
In the US, average nuclear production costs are about $17.20 per MegaWatt hour. That compares pretty favorably with coal at $23.70, natural gas at $67.50 and oil at $96.30 (all figures from Global Energy Decisions 2006). Sounds pretty darned economical to me.
Definitely worth minding.
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