Tuesday, July 11, 2006

U.K. Energy Review Published

The long anticipated U.K. Energy Review was published earlier today by the Department of Trade and Industry, and it includes a strong endorsement for keeping nuclear as a part of that nation's energy mix. And though the review also recommends increased use of renewable sources of energy (U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to increase the amount of energy generated by renewables by a factor of five in just the next 15 years), anti-nukes are still coming out in droves to grouse about the review.

Then again, some critics seem to realize their arguments are running out of ammunition. Case in point: Here's columnist George Monbiot, who after debunking a number of familiar canards about the industry, still doesn't want to listen to reason:

Some of our arguments against nuclear power have collapsed, but it seems to me that the case is still robust.
Here's another idea: Instead of digging in your heels in opposition, why not engage in a real conversation with the international nuclear industry on issues of concern like used fuel and nonproliferation and help develop some solutions?

As Patrick Moore has pointed out repeatedly, the global environmental movement has spent 4 decades perfecting the art of opposition without having to offer any solutions of its own. Might it not be time to follow a new strategy given the dire consequences so many prominent environmentalists are predicting are in store for the earth?

Here's what a spokesman at 10 Downing Street had to say about that line of thinking:
"Wishful thinking will not keep the lights on. You have to think hard about the energy gap. The reality is, if we do nothing, the amount of energy we get from nuclear will decline from 20% to 6%.

"What you will see in the energy review is that there will be a big increase in renewable energy. There will be a big increase in energy efficiency moves and that will deliver more electricity, but that in itself will not be enough to make up the shortfall and therefore you do need nuclear."
More later, as we continue to gauge reaction from around the English speaking world.

UPDATE: Freedom for Fission has a lot to say. First, he praises the energy review, and then muses for a little while on potential reactor designs. The trade association representing British manufacturers likes what it sees too. Piglito has some constructive suggestions.

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2 comments:

Robert Schwartz said...

Enviromentalists do not want to solve problems. They want to be problems.

Stewart Peterson said...

It's not the industry's job to engage in debate or discussion. That's what independent pro-nuclear people are for--you must see that an industry group will abandon technology that does not conform to their bottom line, and can't really afford to be policy analysts.