Sunday, January 13, 2008

Nuclear Power - some progress

The announcement on Thursday clearly represents progress in that the prospect of a new generation of nuclear power stations has moved forward.

I remain convinced that it is essential for all nations to take the threat of climate change seriously, and this is not just a matter of global warming. The possibility that the world's oceans, which are acting as a carbon sink, may be turned acid if we do not restrain the amount of carbon we are dumping into the atmosphere is an even more serious threat than the risk of warmer temperatures and higher sea levels. The micro-organisms which release the majority of the oxygen in the atmosphere live in the sea, and if we poison them, we will probably cause an environmental catastrophe worse than the KT event which killed the dinosaurs.

Hence I regard the case for controlling our carbon emissions as overwhelming. As the existing but aging nuclear fleet provides the majority of Britain's low carbont electricity, I have been convinced for many years - since well before I first became PPC for Copeland - that they should be replaced with new nuclear stations.

My personal view is that it is a shame and a disgrace that this decision was not taken at least five years ago, but it is not too late to start putting plans in place for new nuclear build now.

A report on the location of new plants is expected to be published in 2009. It is important to West Cumbria that we lobby for at least one of the plants to be located here.

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