Letter Alicia Hull: If tidal energy cannot be allowed without the possibility and costs of storage being certain, how is it that nuclear has been allowed when the costs and feasibility of storing the used fuel for countless lifetimes is equally unknown and likely to be much higher? He describes tidal energy as intermittent, when it is regular and very suitable as a base power source. In contrast, he describes nuclear power as consistent when this is far from the truth. Quite apart from their hopeless record on delivery dates, rising costs and concern that they will work, they’re also offline from time to time. The station at Sizewell is offline for maintenance for five to six weeks every 18 months. By November last year there had been 16 planned outages. But there had also been unplanned outages when dangerous faults have been identified. The most likely, it seems the only, motivation for using nuclear power is its link to Trident. Electricity customers will be subsiding its cost. Prof Andy Stirling and Dr Phil Johnstone from the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex University write that the £19.6bn Hinkley Point project will “maintain a largescale national base of nuclear-specific skills” without which there is concern “that the costs of UK nuclear submarine capabilities could be insupportable”.
Guardian 5th July 2018 read more »