Arguments for nuclear power are like Fukushima – finished

From: Bailie George Regan, chair of UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities.

I READ with interest Tony Lodge’s spirited support of nuclear power (Yorkshire Post, March 16).

It is one of a concerted and noticeable range of articles by the pro-nuclear lobby in the national and regional newspapers across the UK. I feel it is important for your readers that I challenge some of the points made by Mr Lodge.

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In the article, Mr Lodge suggests that there has not been terminal damage to the Fukushima reactors. It does not look like that to me, and is Mr Lodge ignoring the comments of senior French and American nuclear regulators who have publicly stated that meltdown is a distinct possibility, that radiation levels are so high that workers cannot get to the reactors and that the incident could yet be worse than the Chernobyl disaster some 25 years ago?

It is not shameless to point that out – it is the truth as said by people who are not specifically in the anti-nuclear lobby. Mr Lodge should also note that it is not just Germany that has put its nuclear plans on hold, but also Switzerland and China.

In terms of the age of the reactors, we have urged Chris Huhne to temporarily close down all UK reactors of a similar age for an urgent safety review – why is Mr Lodge not also advocating that?

Again, even if renewable energy sites would have been damaged in last week’s natural disaster, they are a lot easier to put back up than a nuclear reactor, and they would not require the evacuation and close health monitoring of 200,000 people, would they?

There is ample evidence that the UK can meets its energy needs with a combination of renewable energy, microgeneration and energy efficiency. The tired arguments of nuclear fundamentalists like Mr Lodge should be seen in the same way as the tragic Fukushima plant – finished and a continuing danger to us all.

From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey.

YES, I know hindsight is a wonderful thing and no one could reasonably have predicted the cataclysmic events that nature has wrought upon Japan recently, which has led to very real concerns that the damage caused to their nuclear power stations will result in serious nuclear contamination, but doesn’t this highlight the utter folly in abandoning our coal mining industry and the coal fired power stations the mines fed?

Britain’s coal mining industry was a world leader and with over a century of coal reserves we could have safely provided much of our energy requirements for the foreseeable future without any radiation fears.

Instead, miners were thrown onto the scrapheap; previously healthy, mining communities became barren wastes; state of the art and very expensive mining equipment was sealed underground to rust away and, of course, we began to import millions of tons of coal each year. To exacerbate this situation many of our energy companies are now in foreign ownership and we even import electricity from Europe.

Coal fired power stations, which kept many of us warm last winter, are looked upon as pariahs, yet, the amount of pollution they produce, at the current time, is trivial and would barely register when compared to the possibility of Japan’s nuclear contamination. Didn’t anyone consider that there was a better way of safeguarding and using our precious reserves and the power stations which were able to use them?

If we are to choose between power stations generating energy from clean coal, oil or nuclear material, which should triumph?

From: Peter Baxter, Springate Road, Southwick.

THE overriding lesson we have learned from Japan is that we cannot have nuclear reactors that are not safe.

My guesstimate is that we will need one nuclear power station per million people in future and thus the overriding factor is population control.

To limit the building of nuclear power stations we must introduce a two child policy now, tomorrow is too late.