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THE NUCLEAR DEBATE

November 10, 2009 2:01 PM

It is already too late to begin building more nuclear power stations.Even if new sites could be identified, the planning laws short-circuited and construction authorised within months, it will take almost a decade before new power plants could begin producing electricity. By that time Britain will be critically short of energy.Older nuclear plants will have been decommissioned, the gas-fired generators will be dependent on costly imported fuel and the exaggerated hopes for renewable energy generation will be left, likethe few completed wind farms, blowing in the wind. Nuclear reactors,given the potential for catastrophe, need intensive inspection and testing at every stage of their construction. This is especially true for the new generation of reactors developed by the French, one of which is now being built in Finland. Second, the cost of new reactors remains prohibitive â€" not because of running costs, but because the decommissioning of expired plants has proved hugely expensive.

Times 10th Nov 2009