We must focus on the advantages of nuclear energy

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From: John Watson, Hutton Hill, Leyburn.

WHAT a splendid article from Tony Lodge about the nuclear industry (Yorkshire Post, June 6). It is about time that someone with full knowledge of industry talked some sense about such an important and cheap source of energy without which the future prosperity of this country is at stake.

Of course, the whole debate at the moment has been sparked off by the damage to the Fukushima reactors in Japan after the tsunami.

The Japanese have done a great job in coping with such a potential disaster, and as far as I am aware there hasn’t been one life lost in the process.

How many of the Greens, the Lib Dems and the rest of the environmental lobby take these facts into account? They just shout from the rooftops that “nuclear energy isn’t safe” and that is that! They have consumed all the facts against it, but have not tried to understand the advantages.

If we are going to have to rely on some of the half-baked renewable energy schemes floating about, some of which are despoiling our lovely countryside, then the omens aren’t good. If we are going to have to rely on imported gas, we are at the mercy of tin-pot dictators and fickle politicians, then we had better start getting the candles out.

If one looks at the worldwide figures for mortality in the various energy-producing schemes, coal, gas, and hydro come top and nuclear is a very long way down at the bottom, and yet the Green lobby still insist it is the greatest threat to mankind.

One of the biggest drawbacks has been the disposal of radioactive waste, but the scientists seem happy with what they have come up with.

We know that radioactivity can be a potential threat for hundreds of years, but science is an ongoing thing, and, who knows, in maybe 50 years there may have been research and development enabling it to be stored with no hazard whatsoever.

After all, it is only a couple of hundred years that the old alchemists were trying to produce gold in the laboratory.

We have come a long way since then.

From: Keith Wigglesworth, Mead Way, Highburton, Huddersfield.

THE article by Tony Lodge about the world’s energy needs was interesting, if only by its omission of any mention of Thorium.

I recently read an article in a New Zealand newspaper outlining the benefits of Thorium as an energy source.

It would appear that Thorium is a natural nuclear element, available in much greater quantities than uranium (and therefore cheaper) and could be used as a source of nuclear energy without all the harmful side effects of uranium.

Germany and Italy are cutting back on nuclear power and building more gas-fired power stations, while apparently ignoring the fact that they import most of their gas from other countries. The UK imports almost half its gas requirements and dithers on building more nuclear plants.

If Thorium is indeed the latest “wonder fuel”, why do we hear so little about it? Research into Thorium as a fuel source has been going on for many years, but apparently gets little publicity.

Could it be the “vested interest” brigade holding it back or is Thorium not the wonder fuel some make it out to be? China is investing heavily into Thorium as a power source: possibly using some of the many millions given to them in aid by the UK!

I think it would be prudent for the present Government to have a look at this fuel source and if it has done so already, let us hear about it.