30 Oct 2013

Nuclear power is not a cheap option

A letter from one of our local Green councillors, Martin Whiteside, tackling nuclear issues. Re-blogged for the benefit of those of you who may otherwise have missed it.

23rd October 2013


Dear Editor,

The agreement to let the French and Chinese build a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset has serious implications for us in Gloucestershire.  If we are not careful, next in line could be the go ahead to build a massive new nuclear power station close to us on the Severn at Oldbury. If something went wrong, (like happened at Fukushima, Chernobyl or  Three Mile Island) this would, at average wind speeds, carry radioactive contamination to us in Dursley in 40 minutes, Stonehouse in one hour and Nailsworth or Stroud in 1 hour 20 minutes.

Nuclear power is not only dangerous, it also makes no economic sense. These nuclear power stations will only be built with a guaranteed price subsidy from you and me and our children - on our electricity bills for the next 35 years. Our higher bills will be subsidising shareholders and taxpayers in France and China for a generation! Does handing over this technology to foreign companies make us more energy secure in an uncertain future? The Greens don’t think so. Who will be left with the legacy of the nuclear waste (we still have found a way of dealing with our existing waste – let alone any new waste!) - we will! Who will suffer if there is an accident – we will!

The Green Party energy policy is based on the latest scientific evidence. It shows how we can live comfortable lives without nuclear, while still radically reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. We need to invest more in energy conservation and genuine renewables. The good news is that this will also create many more local jobs than nuclear, and with technologies that are locally owned and creating local profit. It makes a lot of sense.

Martin Whiteside – Green Party District Councillor

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