Tuesday, June 27, 2006

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.

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1 comment:

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.