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Wednesday, December 12, 2007


My leading Herald letter today on the maintenance of Hunterston. It has been slightly edited <> which possibly makes it slightly less hard hitting but does tighten it up.

"The SNP's approval of the extension of Hunterston's lifetime beyond 2011 is a welcome, if belated and partial, recognition of reality. With Hunterston due to close in 2011 <& 50% of all Scotland's electricity to be shut down in 2023> and wind struggling to produce more than 3% (unreliably), despite Scottish Government subsidises of around £1bn annually, we were facing massive blackouts.

We still are. They have merely been put back a few years and will be all the worse when they happen. Meanwhile, should we expect an apology from all those politicians who have insisted that nuclear is dangerous and waste is a problem? If it is safe to run Hunterston so far beyond its design life (rarely a good idea in any engineering project and using a reactor that produces considerably more waste per KWh than more modern ones) then they cannot have been telling the truth

However, this has merely put off a decision. < Scotland has 2,500 pensioner deaths every year due to fuel poverty & electricity costs.> Hunterston is already working at only 50% capacity owing to age. This is like running a 40-year-old car with only one cylinder rather than buying a new one because you believe bicycles are the future. For the £1bn subsidy going to wind we could, if our government were acting responsibly, have two new reactors the size of Hunterston annually, with our electricity at well under half the current price. A few weeks ago Alex Salmond promised us a "Celtic Lion" economy with a growth rate to match Ireland. We could certainly have that if the political will were there, but not with an expensive and collapsing electricity system."."

I have also commented on the forum. Alex has an interesting comment. Though he is specifically not a warming sceptic he has an accurate opinion of the "environmental" movement.

"Fuel poverty" is a bogus notion. Money is fungible - you may be short of money in total, but you can't be short of money specifically for fuel.
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