The Nuclear Power Situation 2012

Posted by PJ Owen (SONE Webmaster) on 19 July 2012 in Articles

Tagged with: Electricity supply, Nuclear power, Nuclear waste, Plutonium, Safety, Sellafield.

Why we need nuclear power now

Nuclear power is the only form of electricity generation that meets all the Government’s objectives: security of low carbon supply at affordable cost.

Without it, there is a risk sooner or later of a shortage of electricity supply that would have disastrous consequences for the economy, whether booming or in recession.

The catalogue below explains how nuclear ticks all the Government’s boxes.

SAFE: After 55 years’ experience in the UK, it is one of the safest forms of energy production known to man. In that time, there has not been a single recorded death in the UK from a radiation accident. The amount of radiation added to the atmosphere from nuclear power operations is a tiny fraction of that arising from natural causes. Medical use of radioactive products adds 140 times more radiation to the environment than nuclear power and its related operations.

WASTE: Nuclear power “waste” represents only part – though a substantial part – of the total radioactive waste in Britain. Other sources are defence, industrial, research and medical operations. About 90% of this waste is low level and is easily disposed of in a repository at Drigg, Cumbria.

Some of the rest – spent fuel – is not waste at all, but extremely valuable new fuel for nuclear power stations if recycled and the uranium and plutonium recovered by reprocessing. Some estimates put the value in electricity of plutonium stocks held at Sellafield, Cumbria at £84bn. Almost literally, Sellafield is sitting on a goldmine.

Meanwhile, the remaining intermediate and high level waste is processed and stored awaiting disposal in a deep repository, which Cumbria has voted to consider hosting.