23 Feb 2009
Green Left 'Nuclear energy is a red herring'
An article entitled "Nuclear Power? Yes please.." appeared in the Independent newspaper on 23 February, 2009. It states that "four of the country's leading environmentalists" advocate nuclear power as a solution to climate change.
The vast majority of the green movement remain staunchly opposed to nuclear power.
FIrstly, it will take more than a decade for these plants to come on stream, which removes one plank of their argument about nuclear power stations to be ready in time to deal with climate change. Renewables are quicker to build.
Secondly, the large companies ready to profit from this bonanza historically ask for huge government subsidies. Were the renewable energy sector to be subsidised on the same scale, the unit cost of the new technologies would plummet.
Thirdly, very few jobs are created in giant nuclear plants, a central concern today as we stare at the abyss of an economic depression.
Fourthly, nuclear power will generate around 8% of our energy needs despite all the projected capital expenditure.
Instead, we propose the immediate implementation of energy efficiency projects up and down the country. We can save many times more energy than that generated by Nuclear. Moreover, we can put tens of thousands of people back into jobs by retooling houses and businesses.
Finally, we should be subsidising UK technology companies to use their talents for solar, wind and tidal energy. We are already falling behind Germany, Denmark and even Portugal in the introduction of renewables.
Instead of the red herring of nuclear energy, the green movement calls for investment in modern, robust, renewable energy.