Freethinkeruk’s Weblog

UK Political weblog

Archive for the tag “nuclear”

Freedom of Information Act

Information regarding the emission of radioactive cooling water from nuclear powered submarines at Faslane in Scotland has just been released.

From this three points spring immediately to mind.

1. If someone or some organisation hadn’t requested the information under the FIA would these leaks have been brought to the public’s notice? I very much doubt it particularly as the first acknowledged leak was in 2004.

2. Rumour has it that the MoD is about to issue a contract for the dismantling of nuclear submarines along with the reactors in Plymouth, against the expressed wishes of the population. Assurances as to safety have of course been made but if radiation can’t be controlled in ‘normal’ servicing what hope is there in breaking down a reactor safely, right in the middle of a large city like Plymouth?

3. The Government seems hell bent on building more nuclear powered electricity power stations, adding more risk to the citizens and if even the comparatively small units on submarines cannot be guarranteed safe eventually there is likely to be a catastrophy. We’ve already had the Windscale disaster which blew radiation over northern England including Manchester. News of which incidentally didn’t creep out until years later.

The Freedom of Information Act could be a two edged sword in that governments may not release information unless specifically asked for it and of course if we don’t suspect something we are not going ask.

Nuclear Power – The Big Debate?

So, there we have it, Britain’s nuclear power industry handed over to France with EDF already planning to build four more reactors.

The cost of this takeover is £12.5bn to EDF but didn’t I hear a short while ago that the cost of disposing of the radioactive waste that we already have (if anywhere can be found to put it) will be £76bn and rising? Isn’t it usually the case that when one company takes over another it takes over not just the assets but also the liabilities? Who is going to pay for future waste as we have yet to see the small print, indeed, if we ever do see it. Obvious of course that it will be us, the British taxpayer.

EDF is 86% owned by the French State so what the hell is our Government doing by giving control of our energy to a albeit benign, foreign power. As a matter of passing interest freethinkeruk’s electricity is supplied by EDF with around a 25% increase in cost so far this year. In France EDF was told by their government that 2% increase was the maximum allowed. Put another way we subsidise French electricity users.

We were also promised a ‘Big Debate’ on nuclear power, full public consultation; well at least they didn’t waste money on consultation when they had already made their minds up. Nuclear power is expensive, hugely risky and releases a lot of carbon in the process of getting the uranium out of the ground. Even while planning on more reactors it is still not known where to store the waste for the next 5000 years or more or how it’s ‘safety’ can be guaranteed by generations as yet unborn. On top of all this, safe, green alternatives exist and are getting more efficient all the time and together with energy conservation these dangerous reactors are not needed.

Planning Bill

The Government’s Planning Bill moves into it’s final stages this week along with more losses of democracy. If passed (almost certain) then when major ‘developments’ are proposed consultation will take place, organised by the developer and run by the developer! Objections in writing will be accepted and at a public meeting questions can be asked but no cross questioning allowed. After that the Infrastructure Planning Commission – an independent body will take the decision. Freethinkeruk note: ‘independant my ar..!

So if they want to build a nuclear power station in Chipping Sodbury or anywhere else or yet another runway at Heathrow we will be able to write a letter, ask a question and then they go ahead and do it. Another nail in the coffin of democracy and accountability.

Israeli Preparations

Israel yesterday carried out exercises over the Mediterranean in preparation for an attack on Iran and so the insanity continues. At least the United States in the 80’s were upfront with their insanity by calling their ‘defence’ programme M.A.D. (Mutually Assured Destruction)

I am not anti Israel or anti Jew (before someone jumps in with accusations) and I believe in a two State solution to the Israeli/Palestinian mess. Israel though, is in breach of numerous U.N. resolutions as well as the nuclear non proliferation pact and nothing, I repeat, nothing, is done about it except for massive financial investment by the U.S. They are also supplied by the West with military hardware and technology.

No one knows for certain whether Iran is developing nuclear weapons or not and let’s face it, we were assured that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which turned out to be nonsense. Even if they are, can we really blame them? Just take a bird’s eye view of Iran on a map; they are almost completely surrounded by either countries occupied by US lead western powers, or countries whose governments are pro western. Even that part of the Persian Gulf forming a part of Iran’s border is stuffed with patrolling western warships. The first duty of ANY government is to protect it’s people, so can we, if we’re honest, blame or even be surprised if Iran seeks to match the threats that are so often directed against it.

The original signatories to the nuclear non proliferation pact, US, UK, France, Russia & China, are all in breach of that agreement by not decreasing and eventually eliminating nuclear weapons. Nothing is said or done about this either and why not? Because all five are permanent members of the UN Security Council with each one, separately or together having a veto.

The madness continues and we cannot be lucky all of the time, we must choose another way.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.”

Post Navigation