The government has just given the green light to more nuclear energy, but why were the workers campaigning for this move funded by BNFL? Andy Rowell investigates
Guardian 15th July 2006
Letter from Norman Kerr, Energy Action Scotland: Much discussion of the government’s energy review has focused on the nuclear versus non-nuclear argument. Sadly, there is little in it to cheer four million fuel-poor households who struggle to pay rising energy bills.
Scotsman 15th July 2006
Energy companies were pleased at the scope of the report and the way in which it reflected all the complexities of the operating environment. An npower executive said this week that pretty much all that the German-owned energy company had called for in its submission to the review had been found in the finished document. The only qualification the executive had was that some detailed proposals needed to be applied to this policy skeleton, quickly. The main bright spot for all the quoted companies in this sector was the Government’s clear commitment to the principle of the market. Nuclear power may be back on the agenda, but it is not to be subsidised and the Government has made clear that it is for private investors to fund any new developments. The question is whether the energy review has done enough to encourage generating companies to invest. The problem is that decisions on investment for many of the companies are now taken overseas. For instance, E.ON and RWE are facing similar pressures to invest in security of supply and generating capacity in their home markets of Germany. Despite the Energy Review’s fine words, the chances are that energy prices over the next few years will climb steadily higher. That, coupled with the Government’s commitment to remove planning hurdles, will enable generating companies to embark on a period of investment, the like of which has not been seen since the nationalised industry’s Sixties heyday.
Times 15th July 2006
Letter: the UK government is in favour of more nuclear power stations but its energy review skates over where to find the large number of engineers necessary to build, operate and decommission them. The UK’s small pool of home-grown talent is mainly tied up with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and the output of suitably qualified graduates has been dwindling for years. As a result, more than 70 per cent of companies in the nuclear industry have skills gaps, according to Cogent, which monitors skills needs in the energy sector.
FT 15th July 2006
MANCHESTER will stay a nuclear-free city despite government plans for a new generation of nuclear power stations. The city council has re-affirmed that there should be no new nuclear energy in Britain and that the existing capacity should be phased out.
Manchester Evening News 14th July 2006
Letter: So at last we have the Government’s long awaited nuclear review, oops, sorry, energy review. As we already new it was an exercise in dressing up the heavy promotion of nuclear build in the greenery of lots of ‘renewable talk’.
Lincolnshire Echo 14th July 2006
Letter: I do not share the view of Andrew Harris and Alan Shaw (letters, July 10) that decisions on nuclear power should be taken by “experts”. The job of experts in a democracy is to present their evidence in a form which can persuade elected representatives to take decisions that they are prepared to justify to the people. The history of nuclear power in this country, in respect to three key issues: cost, safety and the inter-relationship with the nuclear weapons programme, has been one of so-called experts, many with vested interests, dissembling until found out. Your correspondents seek to perpetuate the delusion that experts can be impartial.
Times 15th July 2006
Residents opposing a wind farm in Brent Knoll could pave the way for more nuclear power stations in the region. The claim was made by North Somerset councillor Mike Bell at the Lib Dem regional conference. Mr Bell, who is Weston’s prospective MP, said wind farms, like the one proposed in Brent Knoll, should be encouraged.
Bristol Evening Post 14th July 2006
YNYS Mon AM Ieuan Wyn Jones is seeking urgent talks with the electricity industry and unions over prospects for anew nuclear power station on Anglesey. The Plaid leader said the government’s energy review left many unanswered questions by suggesting nuclear could be part of future power plans. No announcement over likely sites for anew generation of nuclear plants is expected for some months, the AM said yesterday. “As AM for AngleseyI have aduty to find out whether or not anew station is planned for the island. “I need to know what kind of station might be planned, the likely timescale, the cost, the number of jobs created and how it’s intended to deal with the waste and environmental concerns.”
Daily Post 14th July 2006