Did Consultants Cook the UK Nuclear Review Books?

"I wondered why [nuclear power] was being pushed and pushed and pushed," said British parliamentarian Dai Davies, in response to news that "key consultants" working on the UK National Energy Review "have strong links to the nuclear industry." The Observer reports that AEA Technology handled public submissions for the review. AEA was formed by the Atomic Energy Authority, and while the firm "has sold most of its nuclear businesses," it still "has a nuclear waste unit, and senior executives and staff have links to the old authority and other parts of the nuclear industry." Some energy experts who made submissions "said they felt their evidence was underplayed and misrepresented." AEA did publish a summary table, "which showed that nuclear power was the only one [of 15 low-carbon technologies] to get more opposition than support." Prime Minister Blair nonetheless supports nuclear power, though "during the recent heatwave nuclear reactors in mainland Europe" and the U.S. "have had to be shut down," due to high water temperatures.


"[http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0810/p04s01-woeu.html Nuclear power's green promise dulled by rising temps]," reports the Christian Science Monitor (August 10, 2006):

The extended heat wave in July aggravated drought conditions across much of Europe, lowering water levels in the lakes and rivers that many nuclear plants depend on to cool their reactors.

As a result, utility companies in France, Spain, and Germany were forced to take some plants offline and reduce operations at others. Across Western Europe, nuclear plants also had to secure exemptions from regulations in order to discharge overheated water into the environment. ...

"Global warming undermines the arguments we've always heard about nuclear power, that it doesn't damage the environment," says Stéphane Lhomme, spokesman for a French group, Sortir du Nucléaire, or Abandon Nuclear. "Nuclear is not saving us from climate change. It's in trouble because of climate change."