Thursday, March 02, 2006

No to nuclear power

Recieved this letter today

The world is facing climate change through the increasing carbon emissions of modern society. The Blair government is now considering going down the nuclear road again. This is a mistake we could all end up paying for.

A new nuclear power station takes 10 years to build, but we need action now. Sizewell cost the taxpayers £3.7 billion, and decommissioning our current ageing power stations would cost an estimated £56 billion.

Nuclear power is not carbon free. Its cycle of production causes 50% more emissions than wind power. We need a government that genuinely pursues renewable energy sources. Such as wind power, and all new buildings having cavity wall insulation. The use of solar power roofing with an increase in the government subsidy to at least two thirds of the cost of installation.

Another strong reason for not using nuclear power is that it’s not safe. As the slogan painted on a railway bridge in Portobello Road stated “Nuclear power fades your genes” This might not seem too important locally until you realize that they were transporting nuclear waste up the West London line to Willesden junction on its way to Sellafield. I spoke to British Nuclear Fuels to try and ascertain whether this was still the case. After speaking to four different departments I was no wiser, but they did promise to get back to me!

Eddie Adams

Alliance for Green Socialism Prospective candidate for the Golborne Ward.


Reuben said...

i think that hte potential benefits of Nuclear power are such that we should not give up trying to find a way to make it useful to mankind.

Wind turbinesseem like a good idea, but if we are going to use wind power seriously it will involve cbreaking the power of the village. A hello f alot of rural people seem to think it is their right to look out their window and see roving fields - and they refuse to compromise this situation either to alleviate the massive need for new housing or the energy/global warming crisis.

From the city,


AN said...


There are a lot of specifically rurual issues that are completely ignored, poverty, lack of services and even shops, non-existent public transport, housing crises excaerbated by second hoime ownersm and there is a problem that rural political issues are hijacked by hooray henries, but equally a problem that an ill-informed townie agenda pushes the rural poor and the landowners together.

The problem with Reuben's arguments here is that the "massive need for new housing" under free market conditions is the expansion of mock tudor executive detached houses, rather than an expansion of social housing that would benefit the working class in both the country and the town - which wuld usually be better provided oin brown fielld sites in the towns themselves.

with regard to global warming, it is not the rural economy that is causing the problem, and yes there is NIMBY opposition to wind farms, but there is also rurall NIMBY opposition to new agricultural buildings or new light indutsrial units providing jobs. in my expereince this NIMBY voice often comes loudest from rich commuters with second homes or who have retired to the country from the city, and want it to be a theme park.

the problem is class not geography. If we want wind turbines then all that is necessary is a change to planning laws to give them priority ( and if you reallly want iit to happen, an EI subsidy for farmers to put them up!!)

And i am completely unconvinced that the waste issue can ever be solved for nuclear power.

Jim Jay said...

also... in Lowestoft (small rural / coastal town in Suffolk)they recently (well, a year ago) erected the tallest wind turbine in Europe and everyone absolutely loved it.

It was beautiful. Totally silent, even when going full pelt and really, really well loved. I think people's opposition to wind turbines near where they live is often over estimated, after all, Lowestoft is not the most progressive or Green town in the country!

Reuben said...

i can imagine the rural people of lowestoft are very excited about the wind farm - they probably think its a form of magic.

TO turn to andy's post i dont think that expanasio oif housing in wjhat is still a mixed economy (aobeit under free market conditions) simply means the expansion of posh mock tudor housing. There have been genuine conflcts between prescotts department andparishes over the building of affordable housing. A girl i know who is unfortunate enough to come from a village has told me that that village contiually refuses plans for social housing.

Im sure there are brownfield sites (a sanitized way of saying industrial wasteland) which could be utilised. yet it seems absurd to spend millions of pounds making it possible to move people ono sites which are often currently chemically contaminated, in cities such as london where the population infrastructure is already under massive strain, just there is ample room to build in the countryside.

You are right that there are problems with rural services. Yet as well as cuts and underinvestment, this reflects the massive per capita cost of providing services in sparsely populated areas - a cost that would decline if developement was allowed. This is not simplyan issue that arises in a free market context: even if Britain were a socialist society it would still be very expensive in terms of labour and fuel to service those people who enjoy living in the middle of nowhere.


AN said...

I can't see English heritage putting up a big fight to preserve the skyloine of Lowestoft.

However, one fallacy of your arguments Reuben is that there is a shortage of new builds in rural area,s whereas the real problem is communities being hollowed out and killed by second home owners, and urban commuters. you characterise rural dwellers as idle drones and eccentrics.

Any sustainable and socialy just economy will require people to live in the countryside to grow food and raise animals, and an ecologically sustainable socialist economy would surely increase the number of people engaged in agriculture.

In the here and now, any move to create social housing in rural areas would entrap people on limited incomes in desperate conditions, with no local bus service, no local shop, no post office and no pub, and if there is a pub you can't bloody smoke in it! And you have to tug your forelock to some arsehole television producer or stock broker who visits their counrty retreat once a month.

Frankly the idea that we can solve the problem of what a God foresaken hell hole London has become is by letting it get even bigger, bursting outside the cordoon sanitaire of the M25 is utterly horrific.

Reuben said...

why would an economically sustainable and jst economy increase the number of people engaged in agriculture? Agircultlural productivit has increased massively in the last 50 years and i have no reason to believe that it wont in theu future

'you characterise rural dwellers as idle drones and eccentrics.'


'However, one fallacy of your arguments Reuben is that there is a shortage of new builds in rural area,s whereas the real problem is communities being hollowed out and killed by second home owners, and urban commuters.'

the reason why there are so many urban communters is that London is not being allwed to exand (ie onto the greenbelt) and so basically the city has jumpe over it. The ironic thing here is that the greenbelt that the environmentalists love so much probably causes a massive increase in fuel consumption by the people who have to drive through it. The other reason people leave london is ismply they are sick of the massviely congested, overpopulated,strained infrastructure (you ever got on a tube at 6?). This owuld be soled not by nore urban housing but making it possible for people to move away from the most densely poplated areas.
'no local bus service, no local shop, no post office and no pub, and if there is a pub you can't bloody smoke in it!'

interesting - when i talk to people who come from villalges i get the impression of a very high amount of pubs per capita. I dont know how they are all supported, although if i had to live in the coutnryside id wanna get out of my head on alcohol.

'cordoon sanitaire of the M25 is utterly horrific. '

IF the m25 is a cordon sanitaire its not working - it certainly doesnt stop teenagers from stupid places like farnham pouring into camden every fucking weekend, buying wood bark whci they think is draw. On a slightlymore serious level i woudl say that london is not a 'hell hole' as you put it, but the some of the most strenuous aspects of living in london are the direct result of population density which derives from ridiculous planning legislation (read greenbelt)

AN said...

The reason that a sustainable agriculture system would require more human labour is becasue it would use less pesticides and nitrate based fertiliser, and becuae more food would be grown locally.
Add to which that in an economy not based upon commodity productin, people would enjoy creative handicraft and agricultural labour. (This is too complex to argue out in this thread, - i recommend Derek Walls; new book "Beyond babylon" for his discussion on marxist economics and the drive of capitalism towards non sustainble growth.
As an interesting observation, after years of working in engineering, I have only once ever visited a factory in London (A platinum refinery that could not easily be moved)
London has almost not manufacturing, and no agriculture, so there are 6 million people basically selling capuccino coffees to each other, that is not to say that service workers are not working class, but at some point someone has to actuually make something.
Although you are clearly semi joking your idea that the rural population is unproductive only makes sense if you think food growsa in supermarkets.

Anonymous said...

Nuclear power is the only carbon free source of BASE LOAD power available. There simply are not cheap alternatives.

Wind power can be used, but it is fickle and very expensive considering it's capacity is only 25% of it's rated load.

Nuclear when you go down to it is cheaper AND safer, given basically a good history (3 mile island/Chernobyl aside)...all the new proposed plants are exponentially safter.

The do not take 10 years to build. They are down to 3 years for some Generation III plants. It's time the left reaxamine what is a 25 year old atiquated position.

David Walters