Skip to content

Yes, there’s more

Fourth, this was a budget that will harm the environment. To suggest nuclear power is sustainable when no one has, after 70 odd years of its use, no clue how to dispose of its waste safely in the long term and most plants are built in places likely to be submerged by global warming, is absurd. The investment would give a vastly better return in tidal power, but as ever the UK government chose to back the wrong technology, being wedded to old notions of power, quite literally in this case.

We know how to dispose of nuclear waste. Vitrification. It’s only politics that won’t allow it.

We also know about tidal. The bigger we built the Severn Barrage the more money it lost. The cost benefit analysis (yes, including CO2 emissions from comparable gas plants etc) proves this. Tial loses money, makes us poorer.

Jeez, he’s really going for it today, isn’t he?

15 thoughts on “Yes, there’s more”

  1. So global warming will submerge nuclear power stations, including the ones on cliffs hundreds of feet above sea level. Reading his blog and the comments is like being hit by a weapon of mass destruction. The concentration of stupidity might be enough to create a singularity

  2. So a fantasy sea level rise sufficient to render a coastal nuclear station unusable will presumably have no effect on a tidal barrage?

  3. Ha ! You may larf now. What happens when the Russkis launch a Poseidon tsunami torpedo at Dungeness, eh ?

    They might hit some boat people too…

  4. The Rat-faced Hunt says 25% of British electricity will be nuclear by 2050.

    Who here believes they’re going to successfully build and deploy a new generation of atomic reactors in this country over the next 25 years? Remember, we can’t even build a train line to Birmingham without it becoming an excruciatingly expensive multi-decadal disaster.

    So it’s radioactive bollocks. The next Labour government will kick nuclear back into the long grass, slap up even more windmills, and we’ll be hearing that central heating is white supremacy before too long.

  5. If they do get SMR running and productionised its easily achievable

    The licensed sites already exist, they are the ones formerly licensed for older reactors

  6. The other waster disposal method would be reprocessing. Which would get rid of about 90% of it, but it would make the Americans mad, so that’s out.

    The quantities involved in vitrification are relatively tiny. Nuclear waste disposal is something that sounds scary, but is really a non-problem. Too many people take their view from the Fallout video game series, or the Simpsons.

  7. Starfish – the laconic “if”.

    All of our existing nuclear plants are approaching EOL, and we’ve been fannying about with the idea of building Hinkley Point C (now 50% over budget and already years late) since long before 2010.

    The SMR’s are still in the design phase and still have to get past The Blob, anybody expecting rapid progress is likely to be sorely disappointed.

    For shits and gigs, here’s what the British government said on announcing its plans for a new generation of atomic power:

    Business Secretary John Hutton told MPs they would give a “safe and affordable” way of securing the UK’s future energy supplies while fighting climate change.

    He said any plants would be built at or near existing reactors by private firms and said he hoped the first one would be completed “well before 2020”

    That was in 2008.

  8. On waste and people’s irrational fear of same; it wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of “nuclear” waste comes from non-power sources: medical, etc.,…..even those smidgens in smoke detectors.

  9. Amusingly, the bit in smoke detectors is waste extracted from reactors. And government insists you have some in your home…,,

  10. Here’s what the party of government (the Lib Dems) said in 2008:

    The Lib Dems have attacked the decision to build new nuclear power stations, saying the focus should be on renewable energy sources such as wind power.

    Environment spokesman Steve Webb said he thought the plans were either a “white elephant or a red herring”.

    Mr Webb claimed the technology involved in the government’s programme could be obsolete by the time any plants – the first of which is due around 2020 – were built.

    He said: “Isn’t there a danger with new nuclear that we are going to lock ourselves in rigidly to a technology, for the best part of a century, when other technologies like carbon capture and storage, like renewables, are evolving practically every day?”

    Well, the Lib Dems got their way. We’ve massively increased our exposure to unreliables since 2008, and still haven’t built a single new reactor. It’ll be a minor miracle if Hinkley C is online before 2030.

    Meanwhile, the population of Britain has increased by several million people and electricity is becoming a luxury good.

    Are wooden carts pulled by oxen carbon neutral? Because that’s where we’re heading.

  11. Starfish

    I think the proverb is:

    if wishes were horses, beggars would ride’

    Instead under the dispensation of ‘Net Zero’ they’ll most likely die and prior to that be more numerous than at any time in recorded history.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    We’ve been promised almost free and clean electricity from tidal power since at least the early ’60s when the Tomorrow’s World team kept featuring it.

    Despite some of the best scientists and engineers working on the problem over the years we still don’t have any plants that can provide electricity at scale from machines that will last more than 10 minutes in one the worlds’ most hostile environments: sea water.

    Nevertheless, along comes Spud demanding that everyone move aside and give him some room to wave his arms around and he will fix the problem in 10 minutes.

  13. “no clue how to dispose of its waste safely in the long term”

    Not true. High level waste, reprocessed or not, can be included in the fluoride fuel mix to a molten-salt thorium reactor, where it contributes its fissile potential to the heat output, and is totally transmuted to non-transuranic elements. The fission products are (relatively) short lived and also subject to neutron bombardment until stable. It is quite feasible to extract waste less radioactive than the ore mined in the first place.
    However, we will have to buy them from the Chinese, the only people developing them.
    (The Indians are also betting on thorium, ‘cos they have a lot of it, but not as a molten salt reactor, just as feedstock to a conventional breeder reactor).

    But spud is half right. “no clue” indeed.

  14. @Bloke in north Dorset

    Laugh: the sheer grand sweep of technological illiteracy demonstrated almost hourly by the potato and the legions of “experts”, grifters, charlatans, ideologues, fantasists and fuck knows what else that infest the horrid whores of power.

    Cry: the morons with their hands on the money printing press that listen to them.

  15. To be fair, he does say

    “no one has… no clue”

    Which means, of course, that everyone does have a clue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *