Nuclear is not the way

PUBLISHED: 12:37 29 January 2008 | UPDATED: 09:40 27 October 2009

Sir - The Labour Government s decision to build more nuclear power stations (sites are likely to be Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex) is based on false arguments and a lack of vision: 1. Nuclear power is not zero carbon - the mining and processin

Sir - The Labour Government's decision to build more nuclear power stations (sites are likely to be Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex) is based on false arguments and a lack of vision:

1. Nuclear power is not zero carbon - the mining and processing of uranium ore is extremely energy intensive requiring the use of fossil fuels.

2. Nuclear power does not help fight global warming - if all the UK's nuclear power stations were replaced, they would offset around four per cent of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions. Germany has 300 times more solar power and 10 times more wind power than the UK and this is because their politicians, of whom many are Greens, have the vision and the political will to lead the way.

3. Nuclear power is not a clean technology - it leaves mountains of nuclear waste which will remain dangerous for thousands, if not tens of thousands of years. A satisfactory solution for nuclear waste disposal is still to be found. And this waste, not to mention the nuclear power stations themselves are a potentially lethal target for terrorists.

4. Nuclear power will not save us from future energy crises - traditionally used uranium reserves are becoming depleted already, and we will have to import from Australia and Canada where the main reserves are. The Labour Government has ducked its responsibility to encourage people to use less or alternative forms of energy, which is the only way to fight global warming and possible energy shortages.

5. Nuclear power is likely to have to be financed by the taxpayer, as it always has been. It is being said it will be financed by private companies, but how can we believe this? Nuclear power is linked, through uranium and its processing into plutonium, to the Government's military programme, again, financed by the taxpayer.

The costs of nuclear power are enormous - just to decommission the UK's current ageing reactors is estimated to cost £70 billion! Imagine how much renewable energy could be provided for that amount.

Sadly, our government is once again seen to be backing big business solutions instead of local, community-based solutions which are far more sustainable.

Jill Weston, Meadway, WGC,

Welwyn Hatfield Green Party.

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