Kent's Medway Council has controversially voted in favour of building the UK's first new coal-fired power station for 24 years at Kingsnorth, near Rochester. The application by E.ON UK proposes two new "cleaner" coal units to replace the existing station on the site, which would be supplying electricity to 1.5 million homes by …
If they want to sit in a dark cold room eating raw carrots then be my guest.
As for me I want lights and TV and my computer and my oven and my washing machine. And guess what all of them need power from somewhere. Bring on the clean coal power stations with carbon sequestrian.
If any hippies want to respond to this it would be far more enviromentally friendly if you just turned off your laptop and saved the methane flowing from your arse onto your keyboard.
Wonder where they get the pixie dust that power their homes and offices...
Ooo bet they say "clean, renewable sources"....
Wonder where the factories that build this kit these get their pixie dust from?
"more than 8,000 of them in the form of emails, postcards and letters in standard Greenpeace wording"
GP are spammers as well as idiots*.
*Well agenda touting sensationalist at least and like fanbois their words should be taken with truck loads of rock salt.
Crux of the matter are;
increasing energy needs (and sorry conservation aint going to signficantly stop that)
No natural gas reserves left and the Ruskies are prone to power trips (no pun intended)
Nuclear is good but costly and would be a long time away, plus the greenies hate that too.
Renewables, bah, decent but not going to cover the entire need and output fluctuates greatly, brownouts are not cool.
"[E.On will]...reduce its carbon emissions by half by 2030."
Easy. Sell half your power plants to a spun-off company. Do it now, and in 22 years everyone will have forgotten that you were twice the size.
If its 20% cleaner than the current coal station yet they plan on carbon capture it can't be a very efficent capturing process if 80% still makes it into the atmosphere surely?
I mean, I'm no scientist or anything so I could be wrong like. But to me it just doesnt make sense.
Bring on the clean coal power stations - Yeah, right.
This is actually the best news whales have had for years, as it will bring ordinary people - who care about their children (even if unborn and undreamt of) - back into the activist role.
There is no such thing as a 'clean' coal station, and probably never will be.
We all want creature comforts ... but look at the price we'll all pay.
Greenpeace are rubbish
Is this the same Greenpeace that made out that the Wii polluted more than the 360 and PS3 despite it using around 1/10th of the power when in operation? And why did they do it? Because Nintendo didn't bother to fill out a load of Greenpeace paperwork.
It's the sort of mistake PH would make!
The methane flowing from your lips is quite adequate to promote global warming.
As a Damn Hippie I think a sequestered CO2 coal plant is a better idea than a nuke plant, at least the waste has some value and won't be killing mine (and anonymous rednecks) children for the next several thousand years.
A far better idea is to beam power from a solar power satellites into the already devastated strip mines and from there into the grid.
But that concept is too complex for anonymous rednecks.
-- Damn proud to be a hippie
Don't bash the hippies bash the government...
While gordie and co are busy telling everyone to turn down their heating and fit energy efficient light bulbs, their also considering building more coal fired power stations - the dirtiest, most CO2 polluting form of energy possible.
Greenpeas may be anti nuclear (a bigger argument against nuclear is the dwindling supply of Uranium 238) but they have a point: climate change is really serious, we need to do something about it, and building coal fired power stations is just silly.
I'm up for more windmills, some nice wave power (plenty of that) maybe a bit of tidal, since the moon rarely goes on strike and perhaps a bit of biomass - the huge numbers of futons that appear in skips around london would power an awful lot of homes..
I have little time for the half-educated greenies who infest the modern world, so thumbs up to Kent council for at least trying to keep the lights on while we look for better options.
I do have one throught related to the first comment about "carbon sequestrian[sic]", though.
Coal, surely, is sequestered carbon. There seems to me to be something fundamentally inefficient, not to say thermodynamically dodgy, about digging the carbon up, burning it to release energy and create CO2, and then looking for ways to treat that CO2 to get back the carbon so that it can be buried again (presumably without having to put back in as much energy as you got out)...
Can anyone explain it to me?
@Curtis W. Rendon
I too am a big fan of a sequestered CO2 coal plant. It seems the ideal way to me to extend the life of our North Sea Oil Rigs and continue to strengthen the Scottish economy.
I do however hope you are talking tounge in cheek when you talk about
"A far better idea is to beam power from a solar power satellites into the already devastated strip mines and from there into the grid"
Firstly near earth orbit is pretty cluttered at the moment and launching the hundreds of solar panels that would be required for this is really not practical especially as they would need to be in a highly sought after geostationary orbit.
Getting weight into space is not at all energy efficent and costs a small fortune, not to mention the cost and energy used to create said solar panels.
Couple this with the energy required to point the beam at the exact right location on the globe, the inability for this to work in cloudy areas and the fact that the whole thing after losses from light passing through the ozone would genereate abotu enough power to light up a lightbulb means your idea is shit.
Clean coal is a really good idea, I actually think its a more economical alternative to nuclear. Which is why it disgusts me that the government refused Scotland the worlds first clean coal power plant at peterhead in a piece of political showboating against the SNP.
What do you expect from Greenpeace?
What do you expect from Greenpeace?
Greenpeace don't *want* solutions -- they want problems, so they can point the finger of blame at someone. If we actually had such things as genuinely pollution-free power plants, they would have nothing to complain about.
At least it's not another gas-fired plant -- natural gas is far too precious a resource in its own right to be squandered on electricity generation.
What value does "excess" (and sequestered) CO2 have?
The problems of disposing of long half-life nuclear materials are certainly non-trivial, but largely blown out of all proportion by NIMBY scaremongerers. Figures for cost and risk are pulled out of decades-old hats and successful large scale deployments of nuke power conveniently ignored, along with the less obvious dangers and costs of other power generation technologies.
I'm not claiming nuclear power is a panacea, but I certainly haven't seen an unbiased report on it from anywhere. Both sides are exagerating to the point where the only conclusion can be that it's probably a little bit of a risk and won't be as cheap as claimed, but it isn't an unacceptable level of risk, and it's cheaper than doing nothing.
They are a bunch of tree hugging idiots who obviously don't have to work for a living. If mummy and daddy would cut off their trust funds they would have to get real jobs and they would find themselves more worried about how expensive everything is rather than the carbon footprint of everyone else. They would also be too tired to bother anyone else as for once they are actually working rather than having a "cause" so they can get laid by other stupid people.
Point of order
Also has greenpeace noted, they are not building another NEW powerstation, they are replacing an OLD power station.
Maybe I shouldn't replace my old inefficient lightbulbs after all, don't want to upset the Greens.
"As for me I want lights and TV and my computer and my oven and my washing machine. And guess what all of them need power from somewhere. Bring on the clean coal power stations with carbon sequestrian."
Lets see how well you are able to "enjoy" your TV, computer, oven and washing machine when your house is feet deep in flood water. It happened to half of Gloucestershire last winter, remember?
This is happening right now, and the effects are continuing to increase. Nothing is going to be done about it though because the minority of people who actually care about taking action to reduce the impact are dismissed 'hippies' and ignored.
To hell with it - I give up caring about it, you assholes don't deserve saving. I'm gonna switch to the small boat building and storm damage repair indistries!
As for Nuclear power being "probably a little bit of a risk" - noone ever talks about the horribly poisonous waste which nuclear power proceduces that there is still no way to deal with. Fish from the Irish Sea are know to contain radioactive contamination thanks to the Sellafield reprocessing plant!
The only reason the government insists it has no option but to build more plants is because it quitely needs a way to produce the components needed to replace the aging nuclear arsenal. That was why the UK's original nuclear power station was built in the first place!
isn't clean coal the brainchild of the compassionate conservative government of fairytale land?
Get a grip
Once upon a time Greenpeace served a perpose.
Now they are just abunch of useless, uninformed intention seeking whining morons.
Wonder how much CO2 the Rainbow warrior pumps out, oh sorry, it runs on love, I forgo, silly me, I'll get my coat...
Greenpeace browned off
Surely all they need do is ensure it emits more particulates (cooling) than CO2 (warming).
There is no such thing as "Clean" coal. Coal is dirty, period. Sure, there are cleaner ways of burning it, and we can capture the output, but then what are you going to do with it? In mining it, we destroy the landscape and flora that would remove the carbon from the atmosphere. This mining and destruction is part of what got us into our current predicament.
Nuclear Energy is even worse. The waste sticks around for so many generations they won't remember where it came from, and they'll still be poisoned by it. You call that a solution?
If you are going to pooh pooh the renewable resources, why don't you leave? You and all the rest of you "I want lights and TV and my computer and my oven and my washing machines" can go pollute some other world and let those of us who actually care about saving this one get about doing it in peace. Without being called hippies. Or tree huggers. Or tree hugging hippies. Or half educated hippies.
So says the hippie with the degree in environmental science.
I think we need to stop being so narrow-minded here. New coal plants are completely unnecessary.
There are much better solutions to our energy demands, such as using local renewables to power cities and not wasting most of the electricity as heat on the grid. Carbon capture for coat plants will not exist for decades, much too late to have any effect on global warming.
Eon are playing on the unusable technology to create an illusion their plant will be clean. It will pump out more CO2 than 30, although undeveloped countries put together - thats hardly responsible when the climate threat is real and over the years will create far more inconveniences than "tree-huggers".
@Curtis W. Rendon
"A far better idea is to beam power from a solar power satellites into the already devastated strip mines and from there into the grid."
There's just one (gaping) problem with that. Science hasn't a clue how to transmit electricity wirelessly. I think you've been playing too much SimCity (microwave powerplants, anyone?). Maybe in 50 years we'll have something, but the electricity demand is here NOW.
Nuclear waste, when handled and disposed of properly isn't that big of a problem -- certainly less of an issue than you'd have from generating a comparable amount of energy from other sources. Not to mention the amount of waste/pollution per watt is dramatically less than other viable energy sources. (note the term "viable" -- as great as widespread wind/tidal/geothermal/solar could be, it's a bit pie-in-the-sky). Nuclear is the way to go, folks. Embrace it!
If you really want to make a point, go off the grid, turn off your computers, and spare everyone else the diatribes.
The Hippie Thing
To cut back significantly on energy use typically means to cut back significantly on standard of living. And most people, like some that commented here, just won't stand for that. Not even a little bit.
Currently the only renewable energy sources that can compete economically with coal and natural gas are Wind and Hydroelectric. I don't know about Europe, but the US has essentially dammed all of the useful hydro locations that it has, so there isn't much room for expansion. As it stands I think we get 5% of our electricity there. Wind is also useful only at specific sites, and it is possible to saturate an area with wind plants. I hear that Germany has essentially peaked with the number of plants that I can install, and they've still only got that doing something like 20% of their electricity.
All of the other technologies currently cost anywhere from 3-10 times as much as coal electricity. Just like people aren't willing to lower their standard of living, they aren't willing to pay 5 times as much for it - and not many economies could tolerate such an increase without some serious repercussions.
Lots of hippies seem to want to lower everyone's standard of living for the benefit of the planet. Plus many of them seem to be unable to grasp the notions of conservation of energy, the second law of thermodynamics, and efficiency. Those are the reasons that I normally see for anger towards the envirofolks.
On the other hand, using words like 'poison' to describe nuclear waste, and claiming that a degree in environmental science is useful do make the occasional Anonymous Coward look like a dolt. I imagine you slept in (hung over?) the days that they told everyone that space travel wasn't very possible yet and that unreasonable suggestions never solved problems.
As far as I'm concerned, if you lack the basic chemistry, physics, thermodynamics, and economics knowledge to understand the realm of energetics, yet you insist on changing things, without offering a solution that is even remotely feasible, then you're a damned tree-hugging hippie. And a waste of time.
"Lets see how well you are able to "enjoy" your TV, computer, oven and washing machine when your house is feet deep in flood water. It happened to half of Gloucestershire last winter, remember?
This is happening right now, and the effects are continuing to increase. "
What, is Gloucestershire now under more water than before? Possibly yards deep?
I beg your pardon, but you have failed to make your case.
"I don't know about Europe, but the US has essentially dammed all of the useful hydro locations that it has"
The problem is that in much of Europe the useful places to generate renewable energy are far away from where it is needed. In the UK, for example, the best place for hydro and wind is Scotland, yet the major consumption is in SE England. Of course it is possible to ship it, but the Scots don't want ugly pylons all over their landscape to supply the English, and shipping power that distance has losses and other severe challenges, not least that of grid stability.
When you have a grid with widely varying supply and demand patterns (very common with renewables like wind) it can become unstable. It's like trying to carry a shallow tray full of water, once it starts to slosh you have almost no chance of avoiding a disaster. Figures usually quoted suggest that 16% is about the practical limit for intermittent renewable power on a grid like the UK has before the grid risks falling apart under extreme conditions. That could probably be improved by building massive pumped-storage hydro stations as buffers, but that requires drowning lots of land for water storage reservoirs, and the greenies will probably whinge about dead butterflies if we do that.
Obviously we need to reduce dependence on oil, if for no other reason that in some decades time the only countries that will still have oil are not the ones we want to have in control of our economies (and as a separate issue, why are sanctions that prevent them selling that oil today considered useful? Better to force them to sell it all now, but cheap :) ). Reducing waste is important, but not to the extremes that the hair shirt brigade seem to prefer. That leaves nuclear as the only practical option., Works for the French, 74% nuclear today.
What about biofuels?
I am no expert on this, so please correct me on the intricacies of my over simplified idea but why can't we use vegetable oil to power generators?
It operates in a car at similar economy to diesel. What is the barrier to using this on a wholesale level?
It is infinately renewable as supplies can constantly be regrown all over the world.
I'm sure that certain types of oil giving plant can be grown in many different climates therefore lending use to previously unused land.
This would create some wealth for the areas producing and reduce dependency on any one region. If not all could be produced locally.
Re: 20% cleaner
The new plant will be "carbon capture ready". Apparently this means that one will be able to bolt on CC kit once it actually exists. Er, great. (Tell me E.ON, are there coal-fired power stations that *can't* be modified after they are built?)
So, no, the 20% cleaner figure merely refers to the fact that a new station will be a little more efficient than whatever it replaces. No cleverness is involved. E.ON are just waving a green flag to distract everyone's attention from the fact that they are plonking yet another radioactive (*) bonfire in Kent.
(* Coal doesn't contain *much* radioactivity, but when you burn several million tons per year and just chuck the emissions into the sky, it all adds up. If Greenpeace really cared about minimising radioactive emissions then they'd campaign for more nukes, not fewer. Of course, that would require some degree of numeracy on their part.)
My two pence...
The govt and eneergy companies cant win!
There is a growing energy requirement. So the energy companies need to produce more.
So, lets build some more coal + gas fired stations. Theyre cheap and can be fired up quickly to meet demand.
NO, YOU CANT, IT PRODUCES TOO MUCH CO2!!!!
OK then, how about a backbone of new nuclear plants? Expensive to set up, but then they produce huge amounts of power, with no CO2 output.
NO, YOU CANT, THE WASTE WILL KILL OUR GRANDCHILDRENS GRANDCHILDRENS GRANDCHILDRENS GRANDCHILDREN!!!!
Hmmm... OK then, lets build a shed load of wind farms. Fill every suitable hillside with them, and any suitable offshore area we can find. Very expensive, both to build and to maintain, and they still wont meet our energy demands, but people will just have to use less and pay more for it.
1) NO, YOU CANT, IT WILL SPOIL OUR COUNTRYSIDE, AND THAT LOVELY FIELD BY MY HOUSE WONT BE AS PRETTY!!!!
2) NO, YOU CANT, I'M NOT GOING TO USE LESS POWER, I NEED TO LEAVE MY COMPUTER ON ALL THE TIME OR ELSE I HAVE TO WAIT FOR IT TO BOOT UP!!!!
3) NO, YOU CANT, I'M NOT GOING TO PAY MORE FOR ELECTRICITY, IT'S ALREADY TOO EXPENSIVE AS IT IS!!!!
In my oppinion, this would be the best compromise, though no group would be happy about it:
Firstly, build a couple of large nuclear stations to produce a steady amount of power, running them at full (safe) capacity all the time.
Second, remove the possibility for people to object to wind farms based on it being an eyesore. We need them, so shut it. Only allow objections based on a reliable scientific study which shows harm being done specificaly at that site (eg killing of birds, but only if those deaths would be significant).
Third, only allow the running of enough coal/gas plants to top up energy output to meet demand.
Fourth, specify realistic energy limits per capita, to stop people wasting energy without degrading their standard of living, taxing those who exceed it. Do similar, dependant upon what exactly they do, to businesses.
Problem is, this will not happen, as the government is too scared of pissing people off coz they might not get re-ellected. It will piss off the greenies, coz there are still coal and gas plants, and new nuclear ones. It will piss off those who live or visit beautiful windy areas. It will piss off a lot of people who get taxed extra, and a lot of businesses who have to change to more efficient equipment.
This is the only viable short-to-medium term solution I can see at this point. Long term, we either discover a new, clean energy source that will meet our demands, or we drasticaly cut down on the energy we use, which will, neccessarily, involve a drop in the standard of living (barring a major breakthrough in energy efficiency). For example, drying your clothes on a clothes horse or washing line instead of in the dryer (eesh, hate doing that! Especialy shirt, coz it means I have to iron them!)
The trouble with biofuel is that it creates CO2 when burn, just as well as coal, gas or petrol does. Which means it is a non-solution to greenhouse gasses issue. Maybe thermonuclear fusion is a long term solution, but we are half a century (or more) from it. In the mean time we need short-term solutions and my vote is for more effort on research (of clean energy sources) as well as using nuclear for a while.
@Richard Austin (BioFuels)
I think the problem with using veg oil in mass production is that you would end up needing more space than we have available for the crops (I'm sure someone else will dig up the numbers). Also you displace food crop production, which is more valuable (us humans need energy too!). The cost of corn/wheat/etc has already been reported to be going up in South America due to North America's demand for it for ethanol production for vehicle fuel. The result is the cost of bread products in South America has gone up.
more on biofuels
... can be found here http://arstechnica.com/journals/science.ars/2008/01/03/that-biofuel-may-not-be-as-green-as-you-think-it-is
>> slamming E.ON as "the largest polluter in Britain and being reckless in building
>> the power station".
Indeed this coal fired power station is almost as bad as all the energy they are wasting building enourmous wind farms in Kent (or off the coast of).
The real issue
There is no energy problem there is only a too many people problem!
the real solution
"There is no energy problem there is only a too many people problem!
I'll agree with that, if 75% of the people on the planet were to vanish, we'd be ok, specially if they were americans.
(no offence yanks, but apparently as 1 20th of the population you use 1/4 of the energy!)
"Lets see how well you are able to "enjoy" your TV, computer, oven and washing machine when your house is feet deep in flood water. It happened to half of Gloucestershire last winter, remember?"
The flooding was in the summer, and was flooding oweing to rainfall rather than sea levels... Rainfall flooding is nothing new.
"Nothing is going to be done about it though because the minority of people who actually care about taking action to reduce the impact are dismissed 'hippies' and ignored."
I went to school with a couple of Greenpeace recruits, and they were only capable of spouting prepared rhetoric rather than demonstrate original rational concern. And this is exactly the pattern I've seen whenever I've been approached by Greenpeace representatives.
If Greenpeace actually stuck closer to fact and reality, people would more readily listen to them. Instead they assume that we'll accept everything as gospel, and then throw tantrums when we ask them to show their working.
"To hell with it - I give up caring about it, you assholes don't deserve saving."
Fifty quid says that at some point in your life you've needed drugs (I mean prescription stuff, not the Acid you're tripping on right now.) Might have been ventolin, might have been penacillin, or maybe you've had a TB jab? Science and Technology has saved you.
And what, you've "saved" us from the ghost fleet? which was then broken up in Asia with NO environmental protection, and where the magistrate has a decades long backlist of industrial accidents in the scrapping industry? You've "Saved" us from brent spar... And it was later found out that the platform was safe and wasn't "Full of poison" as Greenpeace said it was.
You have however spared me the scrum of getting glasto tickets, since I think I'd chuck if I had to look at that banner over the stage.
"As for Nuclear power being "probably a little bit of a risk" - noone ever talks about the horribly poisonous waste which nuclear power proceduces that there is still no way to deal with."
Talk, no, you seem to shout about nothing else though. There was an interesting "safing" process under development in Germany, however thanks to "Atomkraft? Neine Danke!" funding for that dried up.
"Fish from the Irish Sea are know to contain radioactive contamination thanks to the Sellafield reprocessing plant!"
Contamination accounting for less than 0.6% of the radiation that the fish would naturally exhibit, remember not all radiation arises from man made sources. Compared to more conventional chemical polution this is irrelevent.
"The only reason the government insists it has no option but to build more plants is because it quitely needs a way to produce the components needed to replace the aging nuclear arsenal. That was why the UK's original nuclear power station was built in the first place!"
And now you're asuming that everyone is anti Trident as well... maybe everyone else has had a good look at Trident, and the world situation, and made up their own minds.
Look, you don't like Sellafield, you don't like Trident, you don't like the rest of us. (You assholes don't deserve saving) so, I beg of you, please inconvenience your self no more, and move off to rockall, (Or hop in your boat and just float around, it's all the same!) And then none of this will be your problem! Won't that be nice!
Oh and by the way, since you don't like electricty, please don't trouble yourself with using any more of it to write that nonsense.
Most of my town still uses solid fuel central heating, and those that don't use gas.
I haven't seen Greenpeace protesting about that. I think the prospect of hippies telling us to be cold this winter wouldn't go down to well. I'm just wondering what the carbon footprint is for my little town, and if any of us really care. Its not really a huge topic up here, we see it on the news, watch politicians score points over it, and companies try to profit from it, and then we tend to ignore it.
The fact that global temperatures have fluctuated since the creation of the planet doesn't seem to matter....
Shooting the messenger again?
There seems to be a fair few people here just attacking Greenpeace rather than talking about the real problem, ie should next-gen coal be considered as a viable power option.
@ Marc Savage
And you would know how hard these people work because...?
Hey, they are currently hiring IT staff, how about gettin yur cv in. You might get a chance to see what they actually do and how much work is involved.
@Get a Grip (AC)
"Now they are just abunch of useless, uninformed intention seeking whining morons.
Wonder how much CO2 the Rainbow warrior pumps out, oh sorry, it runs on love, I forgo, silly me, I'll get my coat..."
Uninformed eh? How about you look at a photo of the current Rainbow Warrior. See them big white things - I think they call em sails. Now who's the uninformed, whining moron again?
Don't blame the wires...
"...not wasting most of the electricity as heat on the grid."
Actually most of the waste occurs at the power station. A coal fired power station only converts 40-45% of the fuel energy to electricity, nuclear manages a meager 5%. The best is CCGT that manages 50-60%.
Inefficiencies in load also outweigh transmission losses.
"Lots of hippies seem to want to lower everyone's standard of living for the benefit of the planet. Plus many of them seem to be unable to grasp the notions of conservation of energy, the second law of thermodynamics, and efficiency. Those are the reasons that I normally see for anger towards the envirofolks."
Maybe the hippies understand the numbers game. Since 1970, the population of the world has essentially doubled. Now given that there hasn't been an equivalent growth in resources then that means there is less available for each individual. So if your lifestyle exceeds your share of the resources then you need to cut back in some way.
I keep hearing this wonderful fear-mongering phrase "lowering your standard of living" but it is hardly ever pointed out that our standard of living (in the developed world) is ridiculously high already, how many cars or computers does one family need? 'Er indoors and myself have 3 computers, a car, a motorbike, 2 push bikes, 4 MP3 players and 2 hi-fi systems (just a quick tot up of luxuries). Now if we got rid of some of these then our standard of living would drop but we could probably live quite easily if we halved that list. Try auditing your own stuff and do the old spec design exercise of determining what is required and what is just desired.
"Lowering your standard of living" != "living in a cave".
@Call Me Scruffy
Oh, dear you really are dragging the barrel when you need to lump 'science and technology' together so tightly that objecting to coal fired power stations denies access to pharmaceuticals. Yes, science has given us both but it also gave us PCBs (not printed circuit boards). I guess you must bathe in them because they are so good for you or they were until they weren't.
Just because science does good doesn't make all science good.
"The flooding was in the summer, and was flooding oweing to rainfall rather than sea levels... Rainfall flooding is nothing new."
Rainfall flooding, while not a new problem, has increased in frequency (if not severity) for many reasons but mostly because (or potentially because) of the actions of people looking to make a buck. As for the climate angle, higher sea levels will cause some backing up of rivers and where did all this extra rainfall come from? (not rhetorical btw).
I don't remember anyone claiming that Brent Spar was safe, just not has hazardous as first thought. In a way it is interesting that the facts only emerged after the fact considering that the Greenpeace's campaign went on for quite a long time.
As for Trident, we don't need it. It is just a massive ego extension that helps us (the British) maintain the dream that we are still a significant world power despite no longer having an empire anymore. There seems to be quite a few European countries that have continued to exist despite not having an independent nuclear deterrent.
As for my own views, something along the lines of what Dr Mouse said - compromise.
Someone mentioned it earlier, but I feel it is probably worth mentioning again.
Each year every working coal burning power station in the UK emits more radioactive waste in the ash (a good proportion going straight up the chimney into the atmosphere) than has EVER been released from all of the worlds Nuclear power stations since the 1950's. (and at least the nuclear power stations waste is controllable and containable)
As for the government just wanting nuclear power stations so that they could replenish their stocks of Uranium and Plutonium, it would be so much easier to just mine the slag tips around all our major power stations (parts per million Uranium in coal dust soon mounts up when you are talking about millions of tons of waste), plus there are natural process that also produce Plutonium in the waste as well.
Several years ago the US government did a study on reclaiming Uranium and Plutonium from waste from coal burning power stations (they figured that there was more available energy in the waste by orders of magnitude than was actually produced in burning the coal in the first place). The conclusion of the study was that it was feasible to retrieve the materials but politically it would be a bad idea to draw attention to the nature of the materials they were pulling from the ash as the pressure groups might close down the coal burning power stations as well as the nuclear ones.
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