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May 03, 2005

Blair To Propose Nuclear Power Expansion In The U.K.

Yesterday I posted on both David K. Smith's concerns about the British economy and the Becker-Posner discussion about the future of nuclear-generated power.  Today, Tim Worstall (unknowingly) triangulates with this story from the telegraph.co.uk:

Industry is preparing for Tony Blair to launch a new nuclear power programme if Labour wins a third term this week.

Downing Street policy advisers, with Mr Blair's blessing, have been taking the lead in encouraging major industrial users, including chemical companies, glassmakers and brickmakers, and investment bankers to start discussions on building atomic plants in anticipation of a post-election change in energy policy.

Worstall has some advice:

My only problem is the paucity of the target. Why not aim for 70% like France? Are we not meant to be becoming more European?

One suggestion as well. Currently it will be necessary to have a public inquiry for each and every plant, in order to get planning permission. Of course, people like Greenpeace and FOE will fight tooth and nail to drag these enquiries out. Given the way the financing works (huge up front costs, low running costs) delays at the start of the process have a huge impact upon costs. If there is a two to four year enquiry for each plant, the system will never work.

I would suggest then that there be one enquiry, to which all can put whatever objections they want, this then being used as the blueprint for all subsequent ones. Whatever questions were raised at the first cannot be raised again.

UPDATE: Tech Policy has links to several previous posts there on the nuclear power issue. 

May 3, 2005 in Energy , Europe | Permalink


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Listed below are links to blogs that reference Blair To Propose Nuclear Power Expansion In The U.K. :

» U.K. to go Nuclear Power Route? from Tech Policy
Last month I was told by one of my good contacts in UK, that after the May elections, Tony Blair was planning on pushing for nuclear power in UK. This would be, he said, Tony Blair's big, bold stand on how to proceed on climate change issue in UK. Davi... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 12:32:54 PM

» Geogreen Labour to Embrace Nuclear Power from tdaxp
"Blair planning revival of nuclear power," by Roland Gribben, Telegraph, 3 May 2005, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2005/05/03/cnucp03.xml&menuId=242&sSheet=/money/2005/05/03/ixcity.html (from Tim Worstall through macroblog). ... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2005 1:06:00 PM


Impressive article, but I would just add, I don’t see any nuclear power expansion in the UK anytime soon. It true that France is way ahead, but you must keep in mind most of the nuclear power station in France were built way before the era of peace/green protesters, were able to establish the political clout that the do, deservedly or not.

What is the most amazing about this whole thing is that everyone in the UK who has some interest in this matter agrees that new energy sources need to be found, but I see no “real” leadership on this issue. My statement is made in light of the recent comments by Blair.

Coincidently this issue was on the BBC news broadcast tonight, and the Minster who holds the portfolio for the Environment was very, very reluctant to even suggest that nuclear was even an option!

Posted by: Oppenheimer | May 03, 2005 at 10:03 PM

I am surprized the the UK has no process for liscencing such as the DOE in USA does.
This procedure gives construction and operating a single go-ahead. Also, DOE now has a site-specific environmental approval scheme. These two ahead of decision. What's missing is an insurance scheme to guarantee the two.

Posted by: Vern Cornell | May 04, 2005 at 12:36 AM

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