Friday, January 09, 2009

Putin demonstrates the case for Nuclear Power

One of the senior officials at Sellafield said to me last year, only partly in jest, that the person who had done most to revive support for nuclear power in Britain was Vladimir Putin.

Many a true word ...

The recent dispute between Gazprom and Ukraine has cut off supplies of gas to other countries over a large swathe of central europe who were not parties to the dispute.

We cannot afford to be left dependent on imports of oil and gas from unstable areas of the world when the remainder of existing nuclear plants, and a large part of our conventional power generating capacity, reach the end of their operational lives in the next few years.

Appropriate forms of renewable energy (preferably not a ridiculous over-use of onshore wind power) have a role to play in dealing with this, but the most appropriate low-carbon means of replacing the plants which will soon need to be decomissioned is a new generation of nuclear power plants.


Anonymous said...


The case for nuclear power stations is based only upon man made global warming - on every single other factor, it spectacularly fails.

Whilst China are knocking up coal powered stations at about 1 per week, surely we can persuade the British public that we can build 3 per year. They can be taxed to the level of theoretical costs that can be applied to nukes and this money be used to shore up defences, improve drainage, buy carbons etc.

Nobody wants a nuke near them, they'll be prime targets for terrorism, Finland's had terrible problems with their next generation nukes, no one has a clue how much or even how to decommission them.

The flack taken for coal powered stations would be offset in a simple local referendum - nuke or coal? Up to you.

The amount of scientists jumping off the man made global warming bandwagon is significant and to charge us punters on a politically motivated wonks hokkum theories and potentially kill people is madness.

To decommission a coal station all you need is Fred Dibnah's lad, a couple of burger vans and it's a great day out for the family. Buy nuke and the consequences are unstoppable and, because it's global, they'll still flood and because of the delay and Finnish/French cock ups - they'll still be no power.

Just a thought - it really is a doozy so if you get elected (good luck by the way) get some unbiassed researcher, or your good self in fact, and check out if this Global warming thing is true, and if it is, will we still flood - coal is quick, cheap, makes jobs, easy, capable of being blown up on a Tuesday if a replacement comes along and the NIMBY argument will eliminate any dissent.

And if this is a Europe argument then break it, just ignore it or take the consequences and apologise, but do it anyway - these are peoples lives and livelihoods, not some transient irritants who spend £3bn per year promoting themselves.


Chris Whiteside said...


First, thanks for your good wishes.

You don't say where you live, but I'd be prepared to wager a tenner that it isn't West Cumbria. If you did you would not say "nobody wants a nuke near them."

West Cumbria has lived with the nuclear industry, with all it's strengths and weaknesses (and believe me, people here are well aware of both) for sixty years.

Copeland is probably the one seat in the country where a local PPC or MP would find it political suicide NOT to support a new nuclear power plant. But in most of the areas which already have a nuclear power plant, the local population would not object to replacing it with a new one.

But I supported nuclear power as part of a balanced energy policy long before I became the parliamentary candidate for Copeland, and I still think it is the right option for Britain, not just for jobs in my constituency.

Anonymous said...


A fair point - hadn't considered that, d'oh! I'm not against nukes at all, I think my major beef is that talk of coal is heretical.

I live in Huddersfield (Barry Sheerman's safe but Kali Mountford's looking distinctly wobbly) and would love it if some of the mines were re-opened with 21st century technology, environmental considerations and efficiencies.

Whilst there are constituencies round here that could never go blue because of Lord Arthur of Scargill's shameful behaviour, I don't think that should stifle debate within the Tories of what is on our door step.

If we consider fuel miles, transporting raw materials to build power stations, then in the final analysis it may even be that a coal station in Penistone is the greenest option.

I can completely understand your reasoning behind nukes now you explained it, however, I'd still be most beholden if, hopefully, the fine folk of Copeland pop an X by your name, that you could critically analyse some of the proposterous nievety of the global warming bandwagon. It's become a new religion with a following of devotees that completely control debate out of a worthiness that beggars belief.

Again, good luck and even if the result doesn't go your way, I really hope you enjoy the campaign. Makes you feel alive eh? These election type thingies are never in the bag.