Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Nuclear - bad for business?

British Energy shares have suffered dramatically in the last two days as reports confirm multiple problems affecting most of its plants across the UK.

This is heaping even more pressure onto the already shaky financial status of the company, and casts further doubt on the viability of an industry already hugely subsidised by the taxpayer.

British Energy has confirmed that it is to close some of its nuclear plants, including Hunterston, due to cracks in boilers and in coolant pipes. The company has admitted that only one of its plants, Torness, appears to be working 'normally'.

British Nuclear Group which operates Sellafield, was also fined £500,000 yesterday for pollution.

For further information on the impact these multiple problems are having on the viability of the nuclear industry see: The Guardian and Reuters.

South Scotland Green MSP Chris Ballance has demanded a report on the state of Torness nuclear plant in East Lothian. Although not as old as Hunterston it is the same reactor design. He is calling for the company and the Nuclear Inspectorate to make the latest results publicly available as soon as possible.

Chris Ballance MSP, Green speaker on nuclear issues said: "This incident, the latest in a long string of problems, emphasises the cost and dangers of relying on nuclear power for electricity needs. When something goes wrong, it really can go badly wrong, both in terms of the environment and for the already disastrous finances of nuclear power. I want assurance that checks are being made at Torness, and for a report to be made publicly available without delay."

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