Skip to main content

U.K. Nuclear Update

With oil and natural gas production in the North Sea declining, the Royal Society of Edinburgh says that Scotland needs to keep energy alternatives in mind:
A 50% rise in energy demand in the next 45 years means that Scotland needs to keep its nuclear option open, according to a group of the country's most senior academics.

With a sharp fall in generating capacity looming, the Royal Society of Edinburgh warns that demand for energy will continue to rise, and a mix of solutions is required.

Its estimate of a 50% increase by 2050 is based on trend growth in demand and 2% average annual economic growth.

Given the spiralling rates of energy consumption, the institute concluded that the option of replacing nuclear power plants should be left open, but with a plea that it should not become a political football.
The RSE has posted video of the press conference announcing the publication of the report. The RSE also has serious concerns about Scotland's electrical grid. For more on the report and local reaction, visit Rob Edwards.

According to the Independent, dissidents in the Labor Party are planning on making the question of new nuclear build an issue when the party chooses a successor to Prime Minister Tony Blair later this year:
Labour rebels said that they intended to challenge Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, on the issue when he takes over from Tony Blair, which many expect will be soon after Labour's annual conference in September.

Michael Meacher, a former environment minister, is likely to make opposition to nuclear energy a key part of his leadership challenge to Mr Brown, if he can get sufficient nominations.

Mr Brown's support last week for a new generation of British nuclear weapons will increase the determination of some Labour MPs, such as Clare Short, to back a challenger. Mr Meacher has told allies he wants to campaign on a wide-ranging agenda which focuses on green issues.

"Nuclear energy has now become a central issue for the succession," said Alan Simpson, a member of the Campaign Group of Labour MPs. "The more Gordon Brown drapes himself in the clothes of Tomorrow's World, the more he looks like Yesterday's Man. There is a growing fear now that he is going to lead us into a hung Parliament."
Finally, Blair addressed the issue of climate change in a speech yesterday at King's College in London. Click here for a transcript.

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

Comments

Hugh Strong said…
I'd hardly call less than 1% annual demand growth (which is what it works out to, assuming the 50%-by-2050 figure given in the article) "spiraling." If you want to see spiraling supply (and greater demand) growth, look at China.

Popular posts from this blog

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…