Questions about nuclear

8 June 2005
In today's Financial Times, Tim Yeo of Britain's Conservative party calls for a cross party consensus in favour of nuclear power. Writing today on openDemocracy, energy specialists Michael Davies and Antony Froggatt disagree.

Yeo puts the issue in context:

"Far more effort needs to be made to promote energy efficiency, a politically uncontroversial subject but one that seldom gets the priority it deserves. Incentives for renewable energy need to be modified so that less advanced but more reliable technologies than wind, including biofuels, wave and tidal power, are encouraged. Investment in developing clean coal technology needs to be increased and gas storage facilities expanded. Of these essential actions, only the last is properly under way.

But even if all this is done there remains a big unanswered question over nuclear power"

(full text here).

Tim Yeo goes on to suggest there will be an increasing role for nuclear.

Michael Davies and Antony Froggatt argue there are three basic flaws in the arguments of advocates of nuclear power:

"One, nuclear power plays a small role in world energy production and would require an unfeasible expansion before it could make a meaningful difference. Two, nuclear power has particular problems that make the technology too risky. Three, there are better options, and this is where countries like Britain need to focus and lead". (full text here)

Also, in the forum, Jo Abbess outlines concerns about nuclear. She says a distributed power generation model is a better option. For more see here.

(Meanwhile, in The Guardian, Tim Yeo's soon-to-be-ex-boss calls on the Americans to be part of the solution - see here)


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