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July 21, 2008


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Paul Flynn

We have been conditioned to believe, Will S, that an expansion of nuclear is essential. It provides a small proportion of electricity now at great cost. The only way is has been manipulated to look economic is fiddling the true cots and dumping them on the taxpayers especially the cost of waste.

The scope for renewables is almost infinite and at far better value than nuclear.


Paul, I cannot track down the estimated £83 billion nuclear clearing cost. I can see from the NDA Annual Report current undiscounted liability is £73.6 billion - is the extra £10 billion NDA's spending so far?

It is remarkable that NDA's undiscounted liability has gone up by nearly exactly £10 billion each year since 2005, while of course it should be dropping as yearly spending clears liabilities! How long will this continue - the nuclear industry continually finding more things that need doing at public expense.

I notice that this year a new £2.1 billion line item has sprung into existance "NDA Central Liabilities" - "contingency for risks which were previously held at a SLC level but are now centrally managed at NDA HQ", which might make cost tracing back to sites more difficult, and certainly makes per-site liability growth less transparent for this year.

I hope NDA Central Liabilities hasn't taken in contingency of the Geological Disposal Facility, a proportion of whose costs should go to any future nuclear plants. Oddly the Geological Disposal Facility costs have dropped this year (page 29), which makes me wonder if there might be any contingency transfer fully into the NDA budget.

Huw O'Sullivan

Well the Irish have been traditionally rather firmly against nuclear which is a plus, drives them(and me) crazy that the UK follows the beat of the nuclear drum.
Its astonishing really that anyone considers nuclear given the unknowable costs of dealing with the waste.
Not to mention the reluctance of the companies to take even the slightest financial risk even for their own errors or negligence in clean up and expecting a second even larger blank cheque to be made available by the nation. On this Paul all I have to say is go get 'em.


Thanks Adam. I agree entirely. Hope to pilot a strong renewables report for the British Irish Parliamentary Body.

Adam Johannes

Sorry that's my alternative! I assume Paul's might be similar.

Adam Johannes

Will, here's an extract from a letter I wrote to the Western Mail when the Leader of Plaid came out in favour of a new nuclear power station to upgrade Wylfa in North Wales (see below), I should also mention that Germany shows that renewable energy also generates far more jobs at a much cheaper cost to the taxpayer (nuclear power is subsidised to the tune of billions by the government).

"We believe that nuclear power cannot be part of the solution to climate change because:

* NUCLEAR POWER IS COSTLY. It relies on government subsidies of billions of pounds that would be better spent on developing renewable energy.

* NUCLEAR POWER IS NOT CARBON NEUTRAL as its supporters claim. At every stage of the production cycle, from the mining of uranium to the building of reactors and the storage of waste products, greenhouse gases are pumped into the atmosphere and other pollutants leaked into the local environment.

In Southern Australia, the Olympic Dam uranium mine is the region’s largest producer of C02. The mine has also caused huge environmental damage with some of the most ancient springs in the Australian outback are drying up.

* NUCLEAR POWER IS UNSAFE. From Chernobyl to Three Mile Island nuclear power has been disastrous.

In Sellafield, leukaemia and cancer rates have rocketed in the vicinity of the power station. There is still no solution to the storage/disposal of nuclear waste.

An Observer article in July 2002 reported, “almost 90% of Britain’s hazardous nuclear stockpile is stored so badly it could explode or leak with devastating results at any time”.

According to a study by Friends of the Earth Cymru, Wales’ current electricity needs could and should be met entirely by renewable energy. In a July 2005 briefing they write:

“Wind energy, offshore and onshore could generate around 30 per cent. Underwater turbines could generate up to 50 per cent. Biomass, solar power and hydroelectric schemes could also make smaller, but significant contributions to make up the difference. Tidal lagoons in the Severn estuary could generate more electricity than Wales needs. Wave energy and tidal streams are other technologies that could be considered.”

We believe the climate crisis must be solved through a combination of renewables, energy efficiency measures including a massive programme of building insulation, a shift from private motoring towards public transport, and a rapid transition to a low carbon economy."

Will S

You appear to be anti-nuclear, what's your alternative?

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