Rev Gerard McGreevy's vision of the apparent need for Britain to rely on nuclear energy comes following several weeks of huffing and puffing from the nuclear lobby. A timely move from Maynooths Prof Emeritus of Experimental Physics, coincidence is rife these days. The brunt of his defense for nuclear power in light of many obvious, but apparently unfounded criticisms is that it represents the greener option and therefore a "remedy for reducing the gas emissions that are supposed to cause global warming." Of course he couldn't admit these gases contribute to global warming, instead we are given a defense, based on a presumption, he is unwilling to accept. A solid case if ever there was.
The truth remains that nuclear power is an "outmoded, heavily subsidized, high-risk relic of the Cold War that presents far too many serious hazards to justify its continuation." The costs associated with decommissioning alone in the UK are to reach £46 Billion, all to be accounted for by the taxpayer. Then there is the obvious link between nuclear power and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. These represent such barriers in the face of new ventures into nuclear power that it is unneccessary to delve into the nightmare that is nuclear waste disposal.
On the upside, there are many cases for varied sources of "energy [that have] not been sufficiently made, if made, [that have] not been listened to dispassionately." For example the capture of solar energy has been largely ignored, in the face of the fact that the earth receives more energy from the sun in just one hour than the world uses in a whole year. (4) Biomass energy crops have also been marginalisd, Biomass fuels are carbon neutral, in that CO2 produced in burning is offset during the growth phase. The renewable, above-ground biomass resource that could be used as energy is about 100 times the world's total annual energy consumption. (7)
Rev Gerard McGreevy's letter represents nothing more than the nuclear industries attempt at dis-information in light of the growing, and substantiated, awareness among the public to Global Warming and Peak Oil.
"Indeed, if the full costs of decommissioning nuclear plants are factored in, the nuclear power industry is uneconomic and, in Britain at least, bankrupt. This has been avoided by the administrative manoeuvre of extracting the industry’s decommissioning costs from the department of trade and industry’s proposed Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), thereby transferring the financial burden onto ordinary citizens." (3)
"The NDA will be responsible for the decommissioning of the early Magnox power stations and some nuclear weapons plants and research facilities. The costs are expected to be at least £46 billion – close to £1,500 for every taxpayer in the country." (3)
"All this activity, documented in trade magazines such as PR Week, shows that in the year or so before the general election, the nuclear industry slowly but surely put together a classy public relations act. And it was not just targeting politicians and the media." (5)