Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Wicks shows his true colours

Energy Minister Wicks spoke in favour of nuclear power on Monday despite saying he's neutral on the subject

He said nuclear provides energy without producing carbon dioxide emissions - which is not true - and it also lessens dependence on external energy imports - and so does renewable energy.

"The challenge (of climate change) reopens the question of whether we should have a new generation of nuclear reactors," Wicks told an oil conference. "On the pro-nuclear side, it's a clean form of energy. And geopolitics would suggest that it might make sense for the UK to home-grow more energy."

But nuclear is not sustainable

Current industry estimates are that there is only a 50 year supply of uranium left in the world at present rates of use. It is possible that more could be found, but if we build more nuclear power stations, then the existing fuel will be used faster. Nuclear power is a dead-end technology. It is not sustainable.

The nuclear waste problem is unsolved

Wicks told the oil men that he believed the answers to how to deal with the waste existed. But even the government Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CORWM), set up to look into this doesn't know, so how can he?

Nuclear is a dead end technology

The many renewable energy technologies, when developed to maturity, will be available forever and contribute to this country's export earnings for a long time to come, as well as providing our energy safely and securely.

Nuclear power is not carbon free

Dr David Lowry, scientist and nuclear issues coordinator for Labour's environment campaign, Sera, has quoted a study on the CO2 emissions of the nuclear life cycle by Professors Smith and Van Leeuwen at the University of Groningen, Netherlands. This concludes that emissions from the fuel chain are close to those of natural gas and significantly higher than emissions from renewable energy sources and efficiency technologies.

Nuclear takes too long

New nuclear power stations will not come on stream for around 12 years if begun today. We can develop much renewable energy with the same funds in that time, which would begin to make a difference sooner.

The Low Carbon Kid says Wicks should get out of the pocket of the nuclear industry, broaden his vision and set his sights higher.

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