A welcome Energy Report

It is good today to welcome more campaigners to get the Uk building some power stations to keep the lights on.
In Crumbling Britain on 5th and 6th August I summarised the case for investing in new energy facilities on this blogsite. The download “Freeing Britain to Compete”, the Conservative Economic Policy document, also states the case at greater length.
Not only do we need the power, but we need the construction jobs. So come on government, get on with giving the permissions for the private sector to do the job.

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18 Comments

  1. Posted September 17, 2008 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Labour only knows how to spend on silly projects. Asking them to properly invest in our true requirements is a tall order.

    They will probably decide we need more windmills. or Eco towns whatever they are.

  2. Posted September 17, 2008 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I heard that one possible problem for nuclear power staions was that no one wants to insure them! Is this true & if so what could it mean for building them?
    Would we the tax payer have to fund any disaster?

    • Posted September 17, 2008 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      We're funding a Labour Government aren't we, that's a big enough disaster isn't it?

  3. Posted September 17, 2008 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    You can't afford any Mistakes with Nuclear, and there will be mistakes, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, god knows how many Nuclear subs.
    But, I understand The Global Elite, the real power in this country, Own 85% of the Worlds Uranium, plus dubious interests in the Worlds Banking systems.
    Better yet ( for them ) we will need to pay their companies to deal with the Waste, Better yet, the Waste can be sold by them back to Govt to Make Depleted Uranium Weapons that can then be used in Wars of Plunder in the Middle East and Africa for Oil, Gold and Wait for it, Uranium.

    War is nothing but a Money Making racket, we blast Iraq to peices, then they are forced to pay western companies like Haliburton to help rebuild their country, while we install pro western Govts there and build permanent bases.

    War is a Racket.

    What would be wrong with a reduced population, and a sensible balance between growing food and growing our own Bio fuels.

    Too simple I suppose.

    We are being Farmed.

    • Posted September 17, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Fortunately, nuclear technology has moved on considerably over the decades, with the objections of the greenies stuck firmly in the past. The Three Mile Island and Chernobyl incidents have been attributed largely to human factors (and the complete absence of a safety culture with the latter).

      Forth generation reactors utilise Passive Safety features, which will shut down the reactor without any need for operator intervention or decision making in an emergency condition. They utilise the laws of physics to slow, rather than accelerate the nuclear reaction in fail conditions: in stark contrast to older reactor designs. A Pebble Bed design does not even require a containment building, although the inclusion of one would be wise given the terrorist threat.

      Investing in designs such as these would secure Britain's energy needs for decades to come, yet we are stuck with the most myopic dedication to useless wind turbines (which will not close a single existing fossil fuel power station as they are needed for backup when the wind is not blowing) and other schemes funded with lavish EU subsidies under the renewable obligation certificate. As the EU controls our energy policy, we'd better get used to the idea of a three day week. Then the politicians can tell us how the EU is good for British business.

      P.S. Are you serious about using mass starvation as a means of controlling energy demand?

      • Posted September 17, 2008 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        They were never legitimate objections anyway. Just fearmongering as usual.

  4. Posted September 17, 2008 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate there will be quite a few high priority tasks when you are elected in 2010 but this really does need to be in the top five. I am not at all keen to start living like a South African.

  5. Posted September 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    JR: "It is good today to welcome more campaigners to get the Uk building some power stations to keep the lights on."

    Yes, more nuclear, new Coal fired capicity, much less subsidy for wind power. As everyone by now knows, the subsidy for Wind power has increased electricity bills and yeilded an unreliable and expensive form of electricity.

    I think Neil Craig has suggested what to me sounds like a very sound idea, much of the new capacity should be built on the site of existing nuclear and Coal fired stations. That should ease the planning requirements that might be much more stringent for new 'greenfield' sites. We are less likely to have interminable planning disputes.

    Adrian Peirson: "You can’t afford any Mistakes with Nuclear, and there will be mistakes, Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, god knows how many Nuclear subs."

    Do you know the French generate most of their energy from Nuclear energy, their safety record is impecable. Greenies who buy 'green electricity are probably buying electricity generated by nuclear in France, something I think quite amusing. It is proabably true to say a well run nuclear generating power plant is much safer than the equivilent Coal powered generating plant.

    Adrian Peirson: "Better yet ( for them ) we will need to pay their companies to deal with the Waste "

    Nuclear waste is really only dangerous for the first 100 to 200 years, after that time it is rather like living in Cornwall, where the background radiation is quite high in some spots.

    The Tories had plans to build deep storage in Cumbria as I recall, these were shelved by the Labour party, so we are in fact back where we were twelve years ago.

    By the way, those folk who fear nuclear waste, it is worth remembering that most of the nuclear waste we need to dispose of today originates in the NHS. Should we stop treating cancer, should we stop x-rays?

  6. Posted September 17, 2008 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    It is absurd for us to be sitting on domestic coal reserves, sufficient to cater for our energy needs for hundreds of years to come and totally ignore them in favour of oil and gas from countries that largely don't like us and wildly expensive wind farms that in any case always need conventional power stations as back ups. If we don't act to deploy this priceless reserve we will not only be heading for blackouts in years to come, we will also continue to export what is left of our industrial production to the likes of China in the process.

    • Posted September 17, 2008 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      I'm afraid this is simply not true – it is a myth started by the old nationalised coal industry, the miners unions and their left-wing political supporters. Deep mined coal production in the UK peaked in 1914, and as in all minerals extraction the most economic reserves were exploited first. Furthermore, most of the marginally economic coal was exploited during WWII, and once minerals are gone, they are gone. Most remaining deep mined deposits of coal are hugely uneconomic, even with today's oil/gas prices. For example, there are large deposits under the North Sea, but the cost of recovering them is prohibitive. The only economic reserves are the remaining open-cast deposits, and (predictably) the loud-mouthed middle-class urban greenies oppose them strongly. Given current technology, the only way to keep the lights on is new nuclear build.

  7. Posted September 17, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Some time ago the idiot Brown said he was going to build several new Nuclear power stations. At the time I said to my wife, "That's probably the last we will hear about it." Labour are good at announcing projects, but they never get round to doing anything about it. I also note that you ask a lot of questions which, very often, get answers that are only waffle. How about some persistant questions regarding these power stations before all the lights go out. Don't take any waffle for an answer.

    • Posted September 17, 2008 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      I can only pray to the lord that Gordon Brown is not in charge of organising nuclear power stations.
      Let him build his windfarms and hope he leaves Nuclear to the tories.

  8. Posted September 17, 2008 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Where are the tradesman going to come from to build any nuclear project? There is a problem at the moment with obtaining tradesmen to build Trident II. Poles on minimum wage?

  9. Posted September 18, 2008 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    A BBC report argues the case that global warming is not occurring and even if it was it wouldn't be catastrophic.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00dm7d5

    I don't "disagree", but what we have now is only one opinion robbing our taxes and making a nightmare of domestic laws.
    i.e. The burning of fossil fuel for instance is so politically incorrect, we have to keep 500 years worth of coal underground and deplete our manufacturing base to fit environmentalists opinions.
    We have to pay higher taxes on the roads and in the air and even for our waste disposal.

    I'm FOR conservation and for a cleaner planet but I'd just like to know the truth so these things can be balanced.

    Digging coal and burning coke for instance would create an awful lot of jobs here if not for environmentalists forbidding any opposing scientific opinion.

    The economic and political advantages in terms of jobs, taxes, exports, manufacturing, and literally 000's of knock on effects to our lifestyles are seriously worth considering yet we never hear any opposing argument that global warming is something other than catastrophic.

    Why ?

    Surely science and politicians should be properly exploring BOTH sets of opinion and the consequences of not doing this and passing protesters off as a joke is very dangerous if all the social and economic benefits which were destroyed these last 10 years were unnecessary ?

  10. Posted September 18, 2008 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    The EU is in favour of us relying for 30% of our power production on renewables.
    It also believes in Man Made Global Warming.
    Therefore it is against coal.
    And these, remember, are the anti nuclear protesters (remember Danny the Red?) who cut their teeth in 1968. Atomkraft? Nie Danke.
    I cannot see that we have got any hope of common sense much, especially under Gordon Brown who, he let slip, believes that Europe will become the Gulf States when wind farms are in full production.
    Do you remember how, under Edward Heath, the lights regularly went out during the week?
    My advice, therefore, must be this:
    invest in candles.

  11. Posted September 20, 2008 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    'Three mile Island and Chernoby have been attributed to Human error'

    I'm so glad that human error doesn't happen anymore.

  12. Posted September 20, 2008 at 4:08 am | Permalink

    NHS Nuclear Waste :- a vile of Radioimmunoassay is hardly the same as an accident caused by human error or the Laws of Physics in a Nuclear Reactor.

    Radiation will Only lasts for 200 Yrs, oh well that's Ok then, and if we deep Freeze the Victims, we can Probably thaw them out later and get rid of their Cancerous lesions which killed them.
    So it's ok if over tens if not hundreds of square miles of Great Britain we have Increased levels of Radiation.

    No you can continue treating Cancers etc in hopitals, alongside appropriate safety procedures.

    Chernobyl Also utilised the Laws of Physics, it's simply impossible to do otherwise.

    there are no safe levels of Radiation, gamma rays damage cells, endof. althoug cells have inbuilt repair mechanisms, there are limits to this repair ability and over time the repair does not happen 100 %.

    This policy is wrong, if a WindTurbine Fails, a few houses go without, or at worst one falls on somebody.

    If a Nuclear Power station suffers a Catastrophic failure, the consequences do not bear thinking about and remain hazardous for Many years.

    Even Low level radiation is Dangerous, take for example the many thousands of British and american troops being slowly killed right now by depleted Uranium dust.
    Take the tens of thousand sof Birth Defects in Iraq that we are not being told about. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4
    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=deple

  13. Posted September 20, 2008 at 4:23 am | Permalink

    Personally I would rather not have Nuclear on the basis that it is impossible to say no accident will ever occur, while the same is true in any solution to the Problem, the potential hazards are so Great with Nuclear that it is simply not worth taking the Risk.

    I do agree with Gordon on one aspect of this though, that the way to solve Carbon Emmisions, Road Congestion, Landfill Problems, Food and fuel Security is with More Immigration.

    Now where did I put my Medication.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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