photo credit : jo

Nuclear Bung : Nuclear Bungle
by Jo Abbess
7th January 2008

Possibly Underhand : Possible Backhanders

The tiny little story is finally out and proud : the little town of Drigg in Cumbria will accept all forms of nasty Nuclear Waste in return for a bung of humungous proportions - a regular tidbit of public funding.

So, when will that allowance be terminated ? At the average half-life of the radionucleides ? Like, ten thousand years or something ?

Surprisingly, no other community has volunteered to Adopt-an-Old-Atom.

Dressing Up A Complete Mess

The Nuclear Energy story is looking increasingly fumbled - or even completely bungled - the so-called privatisation of an industry in terminal decline - followed by massive bailings out - followed by endless tales of leaks and cracks and outages.

And still a gloss is painted on the dream of cheap, atomic power.

Let us pass over the fact that British Energy has not been tasked with cleaning up the waste from the business it runs.

Let us skirt swiftly around the fact that the people will effectively have to pay twice over for the Atomic Energy they have burned at home powering their endless tellies, kettles and PCs.

We didn't pay enough for safe permanent disposal of depleted Nuclear Waste the first time round when we paid our utility bills, so now the public purse has to be raided to fund it - behind the scenes.

Let's repeat that enormous Norman (Baker) of a fact : the disposal of the last 50 years of nuclear waste is still to be completed at taxpayers' expense - and the sums are looking so large it will be like paying our nuclear electricity bills all over again.

Clearly, the power was underpriced when it was originally sold.

So, we have an energy industry that doesn't perform economically, leaving continued environmental mess, plus, it's got cracked reactors, seeping ponds, allegedly roughneck contractor practices, apparently safety money squeezes, unconfirmed reports of upsetting redundancies and an advertised lack of potential engineers.

You know, they even called me to ask if I'd like to be a Nuclear Engineer. Clearly, they haven't read my latest work.

New "clean", "safer" systems are quite possibly oversold as being genuinely "safer" or even "cleaner". Have you seen the Uranium mines in Australia ?

Private, successful energy companies are willing to built more of the fissile monstrosities, but as long as they have guaranteed prices, or guaranteed public funds to underwrite them. Not exactly a free market, then.

Let's see ? Does this sound like a successful industry ? No ? I thought not.

And can it actually do something about Climate Change ?

A few mere percentage points.

So, no Energy Security there really, nor serious Climate Mitigation prospects.

Bit of a limp, furry cucumber, actually.

7th January 2008

Nuclear Power - Resources from Scientists for Global Responsibility

With the government due to make an announcement on the future of nuclear power in the UK, Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) reiterates its opposition to the building of new nuclear power stations. Below are links to a selection of SGR's recent resources on this issue, laying out our case.

Nuclear power: the security dimension
Powerpoint presentation (October 2007)

The future of nuclear power
SGR response to government's consultation document (October 2007)

Nuclear power: yes or no ?
Powerpoint presentation (September 2007)

Not enough skilled workers to build new UK nuclear power stations ?
Comment article (July 2006)

Open Letter to Prime Minister
regarding opposition to a new generation of nuclear power stations in the UK from 40 climate and energy experts (April 2006)

For more information, please contact:
Dr Stuart Parkinson
stuartp [at]
mobile UK: 07 941 953 640


SGR is an independent UK organisation of approximately 900 members across the natural and social sciences, engineering, IT, architecture and design. Its main aim is to promote ethical science, design and technology based on the principles of openness, accountability, peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability. For more information, see

Other Atomic Resources

Nuclear Consultation Working Group Report

Christian Ecology Link : "Faith and Power"
Calling for a Low Consumption, Non-Nuclear Energy Strategy

The Sustainable Development Commission : Energy Review Consultation Response
"The role of nuclear power in a low carbon economy" :-

"Secure Energy? Civil Nuclear Power, Security and Global Warming"
Oxford Research Group

"The Economics of Nuclear Power"
Greenpeace USA

Greenpeace UK : Nuclear Reports

New Scientist : Nuclear Pages

The Wilson Quarterly : "Nuclear is Not the Way"

Change College (College of Global Change) : Nuclear Nuisance

No 2 Nuclear Power : "Nuclear is not the answer to Climate Change"

The Union of Concerned Scientists (USA)

RSA Submission on Energy Review

The College of Global Change was formed to provide a platform for thinkers and writers on Energy, Environmental and Economic Change. The Change College aims to encourage information and opinion exchange in the science, policy and education communities, and to offer commentary to the media about Global Change news. The College hopes to promote sound systems thinking for policymakers at all levels of government, and practical action for social structures and corporate organisations. The Change College is a private, non-partisan, non-profit network and is free to join. The online resources are offered at no charge to readers, and contributors are not paid. Contact us by e-mail at change dot college at google mail dot com.