Thursday, February 15, 2007

Greenpeace victory on nuclear power

Apparently Greenpeace has won its High Court bid to make the government rethink its programme to build a new generation of nuclear power stations. The judge ruled that the consultation process before making the decision last year had been "seriously flawed" and "procedurally unfair".

Greenpeace complained that there had been a failure to present clear proposals and information on key issues, such as disposal of radioactive waste and building costs.
The Trade and Industry Secretary contested the judicial review but Mr Justice Sullivan took a different view. He said "something has gone clearly and radically wrong" He went on to say that "the consultation document contained no actual proposals and the information given to consultees had been wholly insufficient for them to make an intelligent response" and that"the information given on waste had been not merely inadequate but also misleading".
Of course the DTI say (correctly) that this is about the process of consultation and not about the principle of Nuclear Power. The point they omit to make is that of course with full, correct and accurate information the consultation paper might have led both the consultees and the DTI itself to a different conclusion!


Edis said...

This on the day when Patrick Moore, a former 'Leader of Greenpeace' has an op-ed in The Independent headlined 'Nuclear Energy, yes please...

Sounds like it was a lively life in Greenpeace at some stage...

(This is not the same astronomicsal Patrick Moore my Mum used to call 'The Old Venusian' ...)

GerryWolff said...

Regarding "Greenpeace victory on nuclear power" (2007-02-15), there is absolutely no need for nuclear power in the UK (or anywhere else in Europe) because there is a simple mature technology that can deliver huge amounts of clean energy without any of the headaches of nuclear power.

I refer to 'concentrating solar power' (CSP), the technique of concentrating sunlight using mirrors to create heat, and then using the heat to raise steam and drive turbines and generators, just like a conventional power station. It is possible to store solar heat in melted salts so that electricity generation may continue through the night or on cloudy days. This technology has been generating electricity successfully in California since 1985 and half a million Californians currently get their electricity from this source. CSP plants are now being planned or built in many parts of the world.

CSP works best in hot deserts and, of course, there are not many of these in Europe! But it is feasible and economic to transmit solar electricity over very long distances using highly-efficient 'HVDC' transmission lines. With transmission losses at about 3% per 1000 km, solar electricity may, for example, be transmitted from North Africa to London with only about 10% loss of power. A large-scale HVDC transmission grid has also been proposed by the wind energy company Airtricity as a means of optimising the use of wind power throughout Europe.

In the recent 'TRANS-CSP' report commissioned by the German government, it is estimated that CSP electricity, imported from North Africa and the Middle East, could become one of the cheapest sources of electricity in Europe, including the cost of transmission. That report shows in great detail how Europe can meet all its needs for electricity, make deep cuts in CO2 emissions, and phase out nuclear power at the same time.

Further information about CSP may be found at and . Copies of the TRANS-CSP report may be downloaded from . The many problems associated with nuclear power are summarised at .

MsDemmie said...

Well done Green Peace!

This is not the only flawed consultation process the government have overseen - not sure the interested parties in the others have enough cash to take them to the high court though.