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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Nuclear or no?

This BBC article is somewhat promising, but I won't hold my breath at this stage:

A majority of people in Britain would accept new nuclear power stations if they helped fight climate change, a poll suggests.

Some 54% said they would accept new stations being built for this reason, the Mori survey of 1,500 people for the University of East Anglia found.

I'd like to know more about the sampling and questions before being happy but the following line makes me think it reflects the popular view to at least some degree:

But in general, more people were against nuclear power than in favour.
Nearly 80% thought renewable technologies and energy efficiency were better ways of tackling global warming.

I agree with the inherent wish in the latter sentence but am less sure of the reality. If we can do it with wholly renewable sources and energy efficiency I would be a very happy bunny. I am unsure at the moment that that is the case; it may be so in the future.

I am unsure how the following stacks up with the opening statements though:

And in terms energy mix, the poll found 63% believed that Britain needed a combination of energy sources, including nuclear and renewables, to ensure a reliable supply of electricity.

However, whichever way you cut it, it is a very small majority of people, which means that we have a hell of a lot more convincing to do before we can build new nuclear power stations. As part of this we need a coherent and transparant nuclear programme that does not involve the direct control of private companies, on the other hand we need to ensure efficiency and so a new control model is neccessary to combat the typical government waste in projects such as this. I am less than confident that this (or any other) government is capable of doing that.

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