New nuclear power stations

New nuclear power stations – The UK government is/has approved the building of 8 nuclear power stations in the UK at Hartlepool; Sellafield, Cumbria; Heysham, Lancashire; Wylfa, Isle of Anglesey; Sizewell, Suffolk; Bradwell-on-Sea, Essex; Oldbury, Gloucestershire and Hinkley Point in Somerset. Presumably, the'll produce a lot of gigawatts without contributing directly to CO2 emissions. So…why are we also still messing around with wind, wave and solar? Will the total additional capacity of those 8 nuclear generators (even when older stations close) far outstrip all demand without our having to pepper the countryside with windfarms and frighten the fish? Just curious. I've not done the sums, but I also wonder how we'd cope on cloudy, windless days when the tide is out…thoughts?

7 thoughts on “New nuclear power stations

  1. Hah. I usually write in a more measured way on stuff like this but just wanted to throw out a random thought about what the UK gov is planning for us….I’d also really like to know whether if they get their way with puting up 8 nuclear stations we would actually need the wind turbines. If they’re set on nuke and there’s not, then there’s really no point in wasting time, effort and money on turbines, surely?

  2. @ deliberately: straight-faced Yank here, my bad–I will be reading your blog more so that I have a better feel for the tone. Fish on.
    My favorite thing about wind & solar is that I can dabble (even here in cloudy Seattle), whereas mucking with nuclear will likely not ingratiate me with the wife, neighbors, authorities, etc.

  3. That “messing about” is great fodder for many technological advances; yours is a bit of a silly statement. The same is of course possible with nuclear–as is a Fukushima. I do believe the Germans are the wiser on this issue but time will tell.
    Also, let us know when the wind isn’t blowing on the Isle of Skye.

  4. “Will the total additional capacity of those 8 nuclear generators (even when older stations close) far outstrip all demand without our having to pepper the countryside with windfarms and frighten the fish?”

    Without having the numbers available, it’s impossible to say. It’s not inconceivable that by peppering the countryside (etc.) we’ve been able to keep the number of nuclear plants down to 8. Or a more cynical viewpoint might see renewables as the spoonful of sugar for nuclear, making the energy mix palatable.

    Personally, I’m generally pro-renewables and pro-nuclear. This post makes me wonder where my head and heart *really* lie. Whatever we choose, I just hope the government can adequately support businesses in these power-generation sectors.

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