Misinformation - Nuclear Power

Nuclear power stations in Britain have supplied a great deal of energy over the last forty years - around 20% of the electricity generated is still nuclear. Most of the early nuclear power stations have lasted for twice as long as expected.

They have produced clean energy for all of that time, and "night-rate" electricity (your white meter) is cheap because they generate power 24 hours a day. You cannot switch a nuclear power station on and off in the same way as gas or coal.

The media do not usually discuss nuclear power in an objective way. Their purpose is to entertain, not to inform. It sells their papers, but on this issue, as with many others, the public are misled.

There are those with vested interests, too, who do not want nuclear power. They exploit the ignorance of the public. They make inaccurate statements in the media to support their own views.

We should not be surprised by this - it's the way things are. Here's a good example......

......Britain faces electricity blackouts, a committee of MPs has concluded (17 Apr 06) unless a new batch of gas-fired power stations is built to meet demand. The Commons Environmental Audit Committee said in a report that Britain could not rely on a new generation of nuclear power stations because they would only reach full generating capacity around 2030....

Roger Higma, of "Friends of the Earth": "Nuclear power stations can't be built for 10 to 15 years and yet we need to start reducing [carbon dioxide] emissions now ....." (taken from "Daily Telegraph")

Comment from ND - This is contrary to what is well known in the nuclear industry. A nuclear station takes about four years to build, not fifteen, if you choose the right design.


ENGLAND -Sizewell B, a one-off design, took 15 years. The paperwork took longer than it takes many countries to build nuclear power stations.

AMERICA - plants now operating: average construction time of 66 months, or five and a half years, for those plants completed by 1979.

FRANCE - The French build nuclear stations in about four and a half years.

JAPAN - they were building nuclear stations in 40 months 15 years ago.

On page 7 of The Commons Environmental Audit Committee's report is the following:

"Regarding timescales for introducing new nuclear stations, international experience with standard designs (France, Japan, Korea, China) indicates typical construction times of 5yrs for the first unit with timescales for subsequent units in a series of the same design being 36-48 months depending on the design, local circumstances and whether built in pairs or as single units." (taken from Global Energy Issues, vol. 14, 2000).

Tony Blair has quoted a fifteen-year construction time for nuclear stations.

I guess it depends on how badly you want to build them.

ND, 2005

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