Nuclear letter to David Cameron, offering him the advice he isn’t getting from DECC

This story was covered in the BBC News and The Guardian, and mentioned in The Telegraph.

Download attachments here for the letter and the note.

Environmentalists have studied the nuclear industry for over forty years. They have consistently concluded that it had little to offer a world meeting the twin challenges of energy and climate security. The industry has often blamed its environmental opponents for its failure to deliver.

They exaggerate. For all their noise environmentalists have been nothing like as effective in discrediting nuclear power as the industry itself. It has never learnt to burn uranium as well as it burns money. And it has burnt a lot of money.

The truth is that the nuclear power has a fifty year track record of failing to deliver on its promises. It is failing again to create a much trumpeted nuclear renaissance.

But it has been brilliant at deluding Ministers and journalists alike into believing it has a future. Nowhere has this been more successful than in Britain, Successive governments have bought into nuclear fantasies only to be defeated by a ferocious combination of terrible economics and technical complexity.

The current government has reaffirmed this unfounded faith in nuclear power. It is a policy that will fail as it has failed before. But in failing it will distract much needed resources and skills from the task of building a low carbon energy system that will work.

Four former Directors of Friends of the Earth, including myself, have today set out to rescue the Government from its unfortunate confusion. We have written to the Prime Minister offering him advice we are confident DECC Ministers have overlooked. It can be found here, by following the links to the cover letter and the note.

About tomburke

Tom Burke is the Chairman of E3G, Third Generation Environmentalism, and an Environmental Policy Adviser (part time) to Rio Tinto plc. He is a Visiting Professor at both Imperial and University Colleges, London. He is a member of the External Review Committee of Shell and the Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board of Unilever and a Trustee of the Black-E Community Arts Project, Liverpool.
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