Though nuclear power is not the whole answer, until a sensible alternative comes along - and 'renewables' are about as sensible an answer as lighting a match under water - then nuclear power will have to produce around 20% of our future needs, at least - and cut carbon emissions to almost nil.Actually, that's pretty tough on renewables. Here at NEI, we believe new nuclear build will make the electric grid safe for intermittent power sources like renewables. Here's Tim Sewell:
The environmentalists would soon go quiet once the blackouts, failure of cold water, cold houses and aged deaths started to occur under their crackpot schemes.
Tony Blair has outraged elements of the green movement with his speech last night putting energy diversification back on the agenda "with a vengeance".If you're a regular reader, you'll familiarair with the arguments that he makes. Check them out right now. As it turned out, just as Blair was giving his CBI speech, climate scientist James Lovelock was delivering his own in support of nuclear energy at the 2006 Brighton Festival. Click here for an account from Donald Clark.
Why would this be? Because he sees a resurgence in nuclear generation capacity as a central plank of any such programme, which would also include a major push on energy efficiency and renewables. I can see his point.
As he said, we will soon move from being 80-90% self-sufficient in gas (which on present trends will become our main source of energy very soon, for electricity generation, at least) to being dependent by a similar proportion on imported supplies from those noted areas of incorruptible political stability, Russia, the Middle East and Asia. This can't be allowed to happen for two main reasons.
As you might imagine, there's plenty of impassioned opposition. One good example comes from The Low Carbon Kid:
The Low Carbon Kid says: politics and nuclear power make an explosive combination. When they are in bed together you can be sure, as wrong decisions can be taken for the right reasons, it will end in tears.For more carping, visit Peter Black in Wales.
So many have told you Mr Blair that nukes - for reasons of timing, security, the long view and expense - are that wrong decision.
Listen, for once.... or leave - and turn the light off as you go.
Our new friends at Potential Energy have started an open thread on the speech and are inviting comments. Be sure to stop by and add yours.
Blair says nuclear power back on the agenda (Reuters)
PM backs new wave of nuclear power stations (The Independent)
Blair puts nuclear power plants back on the agenda (The Irish Times)
Nuclear battle with Wales looms... (ic Wales)
Nuclear power won't need tax cash (The Scotsman)
Britain goes nuclear to beat energy crisis (The Times)
As always, keep up with the latest online conversation with Technorati.
UPDATE: More from Andrew Sullivan.
Technorati tags: Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power, Electricity, Environment, Energy, Politics, United Kingdom, Natural Gas