We need green energy, not nuclear

control room at Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire
control room at Sizewell B Nuclear Power Station. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire
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I would dispute the BNP MEP’s claim the NW “needs a nuclear power plant on the Cumbrian coast” to meet our energy needs.

The Government’s agreement to underwrite the £16 billion EDF Hinkley Point two nuclear reactors will prove to be economically insane and hugely costly to consumers.

It will be the most expensive power station in the world with the cost of energy twice the wholesale price in 2023 as it is now.

Taxpayers (consumers) will also be paying for some of the clear-up and decommissioning costs as well as any accident insurance.

The United Kingdom already faces a huge bill (£67.5 billion at Sellafield alone) to clean up its existing radioactive nuclear waste.

We certainly don’t need to add to that waste mountain with new nuclear reactors.

Nuclear power stations are almost never built on time and to budget with the Government paying an extra price, as evidence at the new EDF/Areva plants in Finland and France.

These plants also face technical difficulties which make them unsafe to operate.

It is highly unlikely Hinckley will come on stream in 2023 when the energy will be needed.

There is plenty of scope and expertise for the UK to generate sufficient energy from safe and renewable sources now without resorting to more dangerous nuclear or polluting fossil fuels.

The risks associated with nuclear power have been seen at Windscale, renamed Sellafield after the accident in 1957, Three Mile Island, USA (1979), Chernobyl (1986) and Fukushima (2011).

In the light of these disasters, the rest of the world is turning its back on nuclear power (Japan, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain) or gradually phasing it out, like France.

I believe the Government’s decision is not based on sound economic, environmental or ethical reasons but is primarily politically motivated.

The UK is determined to belong to the nuclear power and weapons club as it thinks it will have more clout on the world stage and retain its privileged position as a member of the UN Security Council.

We should be committed to phasing out nuclear power and weapons, including the renewal of Trident at £100 billion, to create a nuclear free and safer world.

David Penney

Green Party