Energy and Utility Management Consultants

New Power Station Sites Planned, Others Shelved

October 2010

 

The Government has identified eight sites in England and Wales as being suitable for future nuclear power stations but have also shelved the plans for the Severn barrage tidal energy project.

While the 30bn tidal project would have created up to 5% of the UK's energy needs (the equivalent of two nuclear power stations), Secretary of State for Energy Chris Huhne has declared it is not 'financially viable' to go ahead in the current financial climate. While this can be seen as a blow to the country's renewable targets the initial outlay is too vast, and the environmental impact of a barrage stretching from Weston-Super-Mare to Cardiff is still up for debate.

The eight identified nuclear stations to see investment and/or expansion, a shortlist cut down from the 11 drawn up under the last government, will go some way to allay recent scaremongering stating that the UK will see an 'energy crisis' by the middle of the next decade. Again, environmental impacts are up for debate - although the cleanest and most easily harnessed energy available, the disposal of nuclear waste is another matter entirely; the waste can have a half life of hundreds of thousands of years to millions of years in some cases.

The argument to embrace all energy production means available is an obvious one - to satisfy current demands we can't solely rely on renewable energy (certainly not at its current output of 18% of the worlds power), nor can we ignore the lasting damage caused by relying on fossil fuels and nuclear power - the need to strike a balance is key to safe and long-term power being available at the flick of a switch.

 

 

 

 

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