Friday, 16 September 2016

Hinkley Point C: government not listening

In the Brexit debate  the then leading leaver Michael Gove made himself look silly by claiming that Britain had "had enough of experts."  He has now been shifted to the back benches, and Mrs May's decision to put Hinkley Point C nuclear power station "on hold" while she had a further look at the evidence gave the impression maybe we now had a government that was prepared to listen and act rationally.

Alas not so.

I have just re-read my previous post on this topic and can see nothing that I would change. The project uses technology which achieves the paradox of  being  at once  unproven but already outdated. It is  too big, too expensive, and there is as yet no reliable method of disposing of the nuclear waste it will generate.  There are umpteen more modern, less expensive and more reliable alternatives.(see here and here for some examples.)

Clearly cancelling the project would  be embarrassing in terms of our diplomatic relationships with both France and China.  But that would be a small, and temporary, price to pay compared with that of lumbering future generations with the problem of paying through the nose for it, even if it ever actually works, and disposing if its radioactive refuse.

So from Mrs May's "fresh" administration we now have the return of  Secondary Moderns, and  a nuclear white elephant:  two massive errors in less than three months.  Clearly her government remains in hock to corporate lobbyists and the right wing of her party.

Sadly Labour, still  the  main opposition party, welcomes the decision to continue with Hinckley Point C because it will create jobs, as though the many alternatives wouldn't.

It is difficult not to despair of British politics.

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