I keep reading about just how we need to prioritise various aspects of our campaigning to stop nukiller power, but it is not as simple as that.
The nukiller industry presents us with a series of related issues, and that’s why we do need to engage in some joined-up-campaigning.
Old ones in place of new build
Much of the current anti-nukiller-power campaigning work centres round stopping new build.
All the delays in stopping EDF building a new reactor at Hinkley might be considered something of a success, but it comes at a cost.
Now they want to extend the working life of their existing plants, such as the one at Heysham, by another five years.
This is on top of the previous operating extensions.
That could be very dangerous as these plants are already in a very unsound condition.
Nukiller Waste: – A Catch 22 problem.
Nukiller waste is one of the most difficult of issues which the industry faces, and thus one of the greatest arguments in terms of closing down all reactors now, and stopping new build.
It also presents something of a catch 22 situation.
Waste can not be kept at any of the coastal plants which are going to be subject to rising tides, and that’s something which we have as an immediate problem. Neither should it go to Sellafield which is highly polluted, and also has a potential flooding problem within the next few years.
What we don’t want is for any of this waste to be stored in any area which is geologically unstable, The industry talks about what to do with the waste in the short term, or at least until all they have to deal with is long term radioactive waste.
They are now looking for an ‘engineering solution’ by which the waste is isolated from the area in which it is stored. Though that would be very costly to do. It is of note that the guestimated cost of just cleaning up Sellafield will be circa £110 Billion over the next 100 year.
All of which makes for a series of complicated issues which we also need to consider.
I don’t have any solution to offer.
Though I do know that we do have to consider all of the above in terms of any campaigning we might be doing.
Next Problem – No thanks !
What the nukiller industry now is considering to do is build a lot of small scale, off the shelves, and therefore cheaper nukiller reactors.
They have still be be designed, will still produce a lot of radioactive waste, and take money away from sounder ecologically sounder methods of producing energy.