Dr David Lowry, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Resource and Security Studies in Massachusetts, warns that the technology for small nuclear reactors such as those backed by North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson was still a long way from reality and would require massive public investment. Mr Paterson, a former environment secretary, has called for a fresh look at UK energy policy. He says that the traditional policy which has focused on huge nuclear and coal-fired power stations, and the more recent emphasis on renewable energy sources needs to be rethought. Mr Paterson says the extraction of shale gas could be used to meet Britain’s short-term needs, with the development of small ‘modular’ nuclear power plants providing a long-term solution. Dr Lowry says while Mr Paterson is right to call for a move away from the giant power plants of the past, he is critical of the MP’s vision for the future. “His choice of gas-fired plants using fracked natural shale gas from UK wells, and small modular nuclear reactors is highly misguided,” he says. He adds that the use of shale gas to cut down on carbon emissions could lead to health problems including exposure to ‘gender-bending’ hormones and radiation poisoning.
Shropshire Star 1st Feb 2019 read more »