Response to Tory party commitment to more nuclear power stations and their fifty-year subsidised command economy failure.

(The following is a reply to a Conservative party answer to a letter.)

I consulted, as advised, Conservative Party policy which said that nuclear power was conditional on it being economic or paying its way.
Gordon Brown pretended to do this but secretly subsidised it, caving in to the nuclear industry's demands. (As reported in The Guardian fairly recently.
By the way, I think misleading Parliament and the public should have been a resigning matter. What has happened to public standards of honesty?)

When Channel 4 tv's Peter Snow asked the EDF spokesman how they were going to finance nuclear power because the private sector would not, he said they had their own resources. That means the French state firm's hand perpetually in the pockets of the French taxpayers. Now theyve got Gordon Brown to draw-on the British people's pockets. This is to say nothing of the British government being in the pockets of the nuclear industry ("nuclear croneyism" as your party spokesman once so rightly called it.)

Judging by an authoritative reply to me, rather than the Conservative web-site, the Tory party fully intends to keep on supporting the nuclear crony government in dragging Britain down with France's failed command economy in energy, which unfairly draws on public money, as if it were a bottomless pit, and stifles initatives for sustainable alternatives.
That is the failed model that brought collapse in Eastern Europe.

To prepare us for this, there was an article in Financial Mail on Sunday, a few weeks ago, saying that British energy bills would go up to four or five thousand a year (allegedly) to pay for the climate-change-combating energy supplies from nuclear power and renewable energies.

This is misleading. A Total Energy Audit of nuclear power shows it neither economic nor carbon-neutral (as witnessed by the FRSC, PR Rowland, in letter to Guardian science supplement of the time).

American capitalists, Citigroup's recent report, New Nuclear - The Economics Say No, warned against nuclear plants as "corporate killers." The free market wont invest in more nuclear power. Like Walt Patterson, they have learned from past lessons.

Only governments, spending other peoiple's money, are foolish enough to invest in the nuclear industry's high risks and low returns. People, who have had to earn their money, are putting it into renewables, especially photovoltaic cells research, which as New Scientist said, is "our solar powered future."

I would ask again the Conservative Party to discuss energy solutions with the veteran expert Walt Patterson, Ive already linked to.

If the Tory party goes the Labour nuclear cronies way, it is predictable that more nuclear power stations will incur huge costs and very likely health hazards, and more than likely more emergency alerts on the scale of one to ten. The highest emergencies would end this little island as a nation. Even Chernobyl's level 7 emergency created an area of ten-thousand square kilometres declared too dangerous for human habitation, tho much remained occupied and farmed. (Clive Ponting: A Green History of the World).

Meanwhile, scientific research in renewables will progress despite government by nuclear vested interest, seeking to stifle competition from wind farms, and probably imported from countries more enlightened than our own. People will naturally want to insulate themselves from the crippling nuclear costs and move towards energy independence by local micro-generation. Demand will also bring down renewables costs.

A further desire for political independence from the heedless Labour-Tory duopoly should be a likely side-effect. It is difficult to imagine how Britain could have been worse served than by this policy-united duopoly.
The Conservative party has copied the rhetoric of Liberal Democrats' decentralised energy policy while following Labour's centralist energy policy.

Ive made some further comments, below, to this Conservative policy reply with its standard arguments.

The statement: this is a political issue, not a scientific or technical one, does not admit of dispute and suggests that it does not stand up to the facts. A group of British scientists, the nuclear consultation group, are opposed to the steam-rollering of more nuclear power. They called it undemocratic and questioned its very legality (in a Guardian report, 4 january 2008).

They warn that questions about the risks from radiation, disposal of nuclear waste and vulnerability to a terrorist attack have not been addressed - even though the government was ordered last February to repeat a public consultation on energy supply, after its exercise was declared unlawful by a high court judge.

The comment that new plants would be safe from crashing aircraft is an assertion already repeated by James Lovelock. On the contrary, another scientist warned of the grimmest possibilities, for instance, in the release of Caesium 137 fall-out from Windscale, after a terrorist attack. (It was reported in the Guardian science supplement of the time.)

The reality is that a nuclear power plant goes into trauma if so much as a drill-hole in a pipe is discovered: a Florida plant went into red alert over this, without the slightest idea of who did the damage or why. (Reported on teletext).

I thank you (official Conservative policy) again for your viewpoint but my considered opinion is that it reads like a nuclear industry Press hand-out, because it is so lacking in supporting evidence or objective distance as to be no more than wishful thinking that these deadly serious problems will go away.
It's worse than a comic book fantasy. Even Superman is vulnerable to kryptonite.
The nuclear industry dare not admit to being fallible, because the possible consequences are too terrible to contemplate.

You Conservatives talk about radioactive contamination as just being one of many risks, mentioning amonst others, water contamination. But had the Chernobyl melt-down not been contained (every kind of expensive specialist, from the world over, is still working on it, full tilt, a quarter century later, as reported in a holiday feature in The Telegraph) a continental river system would have been made undrinkable with radioactive pollution for 12,000 years (as spoken in the BBC drama documentary).

By the way, all special interests should be represented in a second chamber of government, so they can combine to check those among them, like the fifty-year subsidised failure of a nuclear industry, whose only recourse is to lobby parties against the general interest.

Yours sincerely,
Richard Lung.
13 february 2010.

Postscript (15, 18 feb. 2010):
See also, Paul Brown: Voodoo Economics and the Doomed Nuclear Renaissance. A research paper.

",,,the shareholders keep taking the profits and the taxpayer foots the bill."

My favorite quote is from the Liberal Democrat MP, John Leech:
Nuclear Power Plans May Well Cost The Earth.

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