Britain's Nuclear Option

The British government "is drawing up secret plans to create a new generation of nuclear power stations." However, "Tony Blair wants to avoid discussing the issue until after the election," scheduled for May 5. A "senior insider" said of a committee studying the potential role of nuclear energy in addressing global warming, "They are carefully framing the questions to get the answer they want." The Observer reports, "Two of Britain's most senior scientific experts yesterday denounced government ministers for favouring PR spin over serious scientific advice when dealing with nuclear waste disposal." Professor David Ball and Keith Baverstock say the government's Committee on Radioactive Waste Management "wasted 17 months pretending to consult the public" on such improbable scenarios as burying nuclear waste under ice or launching it into space. "It is barking mad to consider nuclear power as part of a sustainable energy policy," said a Green Party spokesperson.


As a passionate environmentalist myself, and an engineer who happens to dabble in psychology, I firmly believe that the only way OUT of an environmental catastrophe is to develop nuclear power. Nuclear power is scary because it's big, but if you were to do a full analysis of safety considerations, it's probably the best option between fossil fuels, "natural" renewables, and nuclear. Fossil fuels I probably don't have to argue with this crowd. Renewables are a terrible land usage, and to generate enough energy we'd have to use far more land dedicated to these renewables than we would to nuclear disposal. It's scary, but true. Wind farms in enough quantity to alleviate the energy load use up enough land to cause birds significant problems, though they make excellent supplemental power. Solar power is absolutely terrible land usage, as it effectively turns its installation into a desert of sorts. Appropriate for some deserts, of course, but not enough to alleviate the problem. I think the reason nuclear power is so scary is simply because it's so concentrated. With solar power, the huge land loss required is less scary to most people, but has a far larger implication to the natural world. Rolling back human power use just ain't gonna happen. I would encourage anyone skeptical of this view to post some numbers about land usage, environmental impact, and power generated. I'm planning on doing that myself, because this is just my intuition - even though I hope I'm wrong! I'm barking mad about environmentalists who use their emotion before their heads... -Gary