Monday, November 21, 2005

The King of Nuclear Power

At least we know how Blair will justify his option to sanction the building of new nuclear power stations.

He will point to the advice of the man who said global warming is "the worst threat facing the planet".

David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser, said on BBC TV two days ago: "We have to make decisions very quickly and I think the important thing here is to give the green light to the private sector utilities to give them nuclear as an option".

All but one of the UK's nuclear power stations are due to close by 2023.

But in the red corner of the Labour ring is Margaret Beckett, who opposes nuclear power on grounds of cost and waste disposal, although for political reasons she says publicly things like "We can't afford to close the door on nuclear."

King's line is that as nucelar power stations close, we won't be able to bring low carbon energy on stream fast enough to meet greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Nuclear power gives us about 24% of our electricity now but he says this will drop to 4% by 2010 without new reactors.

But there's no way we can get ten nuclear reactors built in four years, as Beckett herself argues.

Any decision on nuclear power this year will take around 8-10 years to result in new nuclear juice feeding the grid.

On Saturday Blair wrote a piece in the Independent defending the accusations of WWF and greenpeace last week. He said he did want targets for emission reduction.

But nowhere in the piece did he talk about meeting these via demand reduction - energy efficiency. It was all about new technology, the mantra of the walking wounded president Dubya.

I wonder for how much longer Beckett can remain Environment Minister?

Technorati Tags: ; ; ; ; ;

No comments: