Monday, November 07, 2005

Lord Sainsbury goes nuclear

Lord Sainsbury has said that nuclear power is a renewable energy source!

This is an Orwellian twist of language defying belief from a so-called Science Minister!

Apparently he said in a debate on energy security in the House of Lords: “Lady O’Cathain offered me the opportunity of . . . agreeing that nuclear is a renewable source of energy — it clearly is so.”

Low carbon it may be, at least in terms of its fuel, (though not the associated heavy industry - it's not as low carbon as water power for example, or solar thermal), but it is neither renewable (the uranium will one day run out) nor sustainable (the waste will keep piling up; and on the social/economic plank of sustainability it is centralised, capital-intensive, and provides few jobs per megawatt).

Are we to see nuclear generators exempted from the Climate Change Levy? Would utilities be forced to buy a given per cent of their electricity from nuclear as with the Renewables Obligation?

This is the same Lord Sainsbury who was so keen on GM food and persuaded Blair to back the idea that British industry and business should exploit it as a 'vital cutting edge technology'. Only a mighty public campaign oveturned this policy.

He is now trying the same thing with nuclear, evidently.

Sainsbury and Blair both are in love with large scale, high-tech, highly-centralised solutions like this. Blair recently told the EU to embrace nuclear power - presumably because he wants to sell them UK so-called 'expertise'.

What we really need are diverse, decentralised, integrated solutions which use the capital investment to support high employment too, rather than large plant. But these are probably too complex for Sainsbury and Blair to get their tiny, busy brains around.

Nuclear is renewable! Whatever next - fossil oil is good for you?

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1 comment:

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