The public perception of nuclear power in the UK is quite different
to the positive image it has in Canada, America and France.
There are lots of reasons for this. A lack of
scientific knowledge in Government doesn't help.
There seems to be no lack of highly-paid advisers.
Recently the leader
of the Opposition, David Cameron, said that nuclear power would only be used as
a "last resort" under the next Tory administration. This is not the sort of comment
expected from a senior politician.
Inflammatory language about energy policy causes much irritation
amongst those who earn their living in the energy industry and
does not help our long-term energy plans.
Aside from this, serious damage to nuclear power's UK image has been
caused by a stream of bad publicity associated with Sellafield, (formerly
known as Windscale) where
nuclear fuel is reprocessed.
This is ironic since, if we want cheap nuclear electricity,
reprocessing isn't necessary anyway. A civil nuclear electricity
program does not need a reprocessing facitity.
Here's part of a recent article (9 Jun 06) from a national paper:
SELLAFIELD FACES HUGE FINE OVER 20-TON NUCLEAR LEAK
British Nuclear Group faces an unlimited fine after pleading guilty to
safety breaches which allowed radioactive material to leak from the
Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant for 8 months.
A broken pipe was discovered....in April last year. By then, acid
containing 20 tons of uranium and 350lb of plutonium had escaped
without staff noticing.
Yesterday BNG pleaded guilty at Whitehaven magistrates' court to
three counts of breaching the conditions of its licence....
The case is being referred to Carlisle Crown Court.
A spokesman for BNG said that the leak had presented no risk either to
health and safety or to the environment.
Comment from ND......
how much damage has this article, and
others like it, done to the nuclear industry?
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