Saturday, September 20, 2008

Great Britain Finds it Needs More Nuclear Power

Like Germany before it, the United Kingdom is finding that it needs more nuclear power plants:
* UK will press "all buttons" to get nuclear built
* nuclear is a "no-brainer" because it contributes to energy security and job creation
* "insecure international sources underline the case for a diverse mix"
* "determined to get nuclear up and running as soon as possible"
* nuclear industry could create 100,000 new direct jobs
* Britain needs to move fast to establish position in international market
* all of the above is part of the need to "spotlight" the opportunities available

There are several factors pushing the UK government’s rapidly growing interest in building new nuclear power plants.

* Natural gas production in the North Sea is falling more rapidly than expected.
* Russia is a major European gas supplier, but its reliability is increasingly in question.
* Iran is another big gas supplier to Europe with questionable reliability.
* Alternative energy programs are not delivering power as rapidly as expected.
* Carbon emissions concerns have changed the status of coal as an energy fuel.
* Existing UK nuclear plants have a limited life remaining. (Note: It is possible to extend the life of these facilities.)
I'm all for solar energy, as is quite obvious to any reader here, but I think we're going to need expanded nuclear power too. I'd rather we build nuclear- and solar- and wind-powered energy generation than another coal- or natural gas-powered plant, which will only continue to exacerbate the problem of global warming.

If we want to continue feeding hard currency to Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia, by all means, let's continue the informal ban on nuclear power. If we're serious about green energy generation, though, we might want to add nuclear power to the mix of clean energy options available to us.

No comments: