Kate Hudson: IN ITS Powering Ahead economic report in 2016, the TUC stated that: “The TUC, like the government, believes the UK’s nuclear industry has a pivotal role to play in a future balanced energy policy.” Since that report was published, support for nuclear power has been falling away as renewables provide increasingly cheap energy, while cost overruns, radioactive waste problems and faulty construction dog new build. Companies are falling over themselves to offload their interests in nuclear power and the government itself has shown signs of backing off. Meanwhile, the Labour Party and TUC are committed to nuclear power, against all the evidence. Both need to review the evidence and reconsider their positions. Over the last two decades there has been a concerted effort to suggest that nuclear power is a clean and safe form of energy that can contribute to dealing with the problems of climate change. But this myth has now been thoroughly busted and the reality is that the British public massively subsidises an industry that is not carbon neutral, produces enormous amounts of carcinogenic waste for which no safe storage solution exists, and leads to cancer clusters and periodic catastrophic disasters. Meanwhile major industrial countries like Germany have abandoned nuclear power and are embracing renewable energy sources. The billions used to subsidise nuclear power can be instead invested in developing renewable technologies, leading to secure and clean energy sources and the creation of thousands of new jobs. New research has found that almost all nuclear power plants built since the nuclear industry’s inception have generated large financial losses. It is time for the labour and trade union movement to learn these lessons and adopt a fresh approach to energy that centres on clean and economically viable renewable technology.
Morning Star 10th Sept 2019 read more »