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Does the UK need more nuclear power stations?

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Introduction

There are a huge number of jobs – there are 9,000 jobs per nuclear power station with huge benefits for the economy. Opposed to talking about nuclear jobs which might be years away from construction, decades away from production, in the last few weeks in Scotland they have announced 500 offshore wind jobs in construction.

These are actual jobs, which are being created now in technologies that are being deployed now and technologies where Scotland has a huge substantial, natural advantage as opposed to nuclear technologies where Scotland has no advantage whatsoever. [2]

The electricity calculator gives you the opportunity to choose how you would like the UK’s electricity to be generated in 2020.

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Middle

Imports: 10 bn kWh

In 2020, the UK’s demand is projected to have grown to 381 billion kilowatt hours.

For cost comparison, the calculator uses the 2003 average household figure of £250, since when in reality the average cost has risen. For further details and an explanation of how the calculator works, see the links above on the right.[4]

Even if Britain built ten new reactors, nuclear power can only deliver a 4 per cent cut in carbon emissions sometime after 2025. Even the Government admits this (Sustainable Development Commission figure). It's too little too late at too high a price.

• Most of the gas we use is for heating and hot water and for industrial purposes.

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Conclusion

decentralised power stations like they have in Scandinavia. Together they have the potential to deliver reliable low carbon energy quicker and cheaper. They are also safe and globally applicable, unlike nuclear. But these technologies will be strangled if cash and political energy get thrust at nuclear power.

• Gordon Brown very recently committed the UK to generating around 40 per cent of our electricity from renewable by 2020. If he means it, Britain could become a world leader in clean energy and his case for nuclear evaporates. At the moment Germany has 300 times as much solar power and 10 times as much wind power installed as the UK and has given up on nuclear. [1]

Many environmental groups remain unconvinced that the UK needs a nuclear renaissance.

image00.jpg  [2]

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