1 Jul 2011

Nuclear at any cost: does government really care about safety?

Oldbury viewed from Randwick
It seems British government officials approached nuclear companies to draw up a co-ordinated public relations strategy to play down the Fukushima nuclear accident just two days after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and before the extent of the radiation leak was known. Indeed we also know that the Japanese company did not tell the whole truth about the meltdown of the reactors for some time (see here).

So it really is nuclear at any cost! Tory MP Zac Goldsmith condemned the extent of co-ordination between the government and nuclear companies that the emails appear to reveal - similarly Greenpeace. See here. Meanwhile jellyfish closed Torness nuclear power plant - see here - apparently the jellyfish got into the seawater filters - it wasn't so long ago that the hot weather meant virtually all of France's nuclear power stations had to close....


Philip Booth said...

A prominent Liberal Democrat has called for Chris Huhne to resign immediately as energy and climate change secretary after emails were released detailing his officials' efforts to co-ordinate a PR response to the Fukushima disaster with the nuclear industry. Civil servants in the energy and business departments were apparently trying to minimise the impact of the disaster on public support for nuclear pow! er. Andy Myles, the party's former chief executive in Scotland, said: "This deliberate and (sadly) very effective attempt to 'calm' the reporting of the true story of Fukushima is a terrible betrayal of liberal values. In my view it is not acceptable that a Liberal Democrat cabinet minister presides over a department deeply involved in a blatant conspiracy designed to manipulate the truth in order to protect corporate interests". The leader of the Lib Dems in the European parliament, Fiona Hall, said nuclear plans should be put on hold.

Guardian 1st July 2011

Philip Booth said...

Letter Caroline Lucas: The orchestrated effort of coalition officials and the nuclear industry to create a pro-nuclear public information campaign immediately after Fukushima shows that not even a large-scale nuclear incident can halt this government's ideological obsession with new nuclear. In particular, the leadership of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in this effort points to an alarming propensity to prioritise business interests over public safety. Officials clearly did not care to wait for the results of the government's safety review, due in September, before rushing to assure us that a similar disaster was not possible on these shores. In parliamentary questions put down today, I am asking the government to! shed greater light on the meetings in the days following Fukushima, asking what briefings were given to the government's chief scientist and just how many staff they had working on what was effectively a PR exercise for the nuclear industry.

Guardian 2nd July 2011