Skip to main content

Nuclear Energy Finds New Support in U.K.

On three separate occasions in January, I called British newspapers to task for fronting public opinion polls about nuclear energy while failing to note that these polls were conducted prior to Russia's natural gas shutoff to Eastern Europe only a few weeks before.

Well, after waiting for a few months, a poll was published Monday that shows public opinion beginning to move the other way:
The U.K. public's support for nuclear power has increased as energy prices soar, with almost half of Britons saying they're not prepared to pay a premium for electricity from renewable sources, a study said.

About 36 percent of Britons want to see an increase in nuclear capacity, compared with 29 percent one year ago, according to a study by KPMG International and YouGov Plc. About 45 percent of the survey respondents said they want a reduction in nuclear power, less than the 58 percent last year.

(snip)

About 44 percent of the survey respondents said they weren't prepared to pay ``a single penny more for green energy,'' the report said.

U.K. power prices doubled last year after an increase in the cost of fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas.
For more from AFP, click here.

Despite this, some politicians are still anxious for the U.K. to become overdependent on Russian natural gas:
Britain, Europe's biggest natural-gas consumer, should meet its electricity needs by relying on gas-fired plants and renewable energy sources in the next decade rather than nuclear power, a group of lawmakers said in a report released Sunday.

Nuclear power plants would take too long to build, would need subsidies and may cut carbon emissions less than expected, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee said.

The answer to meeting the country's energy needs lies in many more gas- powered electricity plants and increasing sources of renewable energy like wind and waves, said the 81-page report, titled "Keeping the Lights On."
As if one winter at the mercy of Russian foreign policy and natural gas price volatility wasn't enough.

Thankfully, there are some folks in Britain who are talking sense:
[Harlow MP Bill]Rammell criticised the committee's outright rejection of nuclear power as "not sensible" and said the need to cut carbon emissions had to be considered.

"I think we would be crazy to rule out nuclear power," he said. "We're going to be a net importer of gas and electricity before long. With that and the need to tackle climate change, I think we're right to look at it as an option."
And in Scotland, organized labor is lining up in favor of nuclear energy too. Here's hoping this is the start of a trend.

Technorati tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…

Innovation Fuels the Nuclear Legacy: Southern Nuclear Employees Share Their Stories

Blake Bolt and Sharimar Colon are excited about nuclear energy. Each works at Southern Nuclear Co. and sees firsthand how their ingenuity powers the nation’s largest supply of clean energy. For Powered by Our People, they shared their stories of advocacy, innovation in the workplace and efforts to promote efficiency. Their passion for nuclear energy casts a bright future for the industry.

Blake Bolt has worked in the nuclear industry for six years and is currently the work week manager at Hatch Nuclear Plant in Georgia. He takes pride in an industry he might one day pass on to his children.

What is your job and why do you enjoy doing it?
As a Work Week Manager at Plant Hatch, my primary responsibility is to ensure nuclear safety and manage the risk associated with work by planning, scheduling, preparing and executing work to maximize the availability and reliability of station equipment and systems. I love my job because it enables me to work directly with every department on the plant…