"This government, in common with the whole of the UK media, may in the past have given the impression that nuclear energy was the biggest threat to the future of humanity since the demise of Hitler. We were encouraged in this view by the disastrous safety record of the civil nuclear power industry dating from the numerous radiation leaks at
Calder Hall WindscaleSellafield from the 1950s onwards to the explosion at Chernobyl in 1986 which left large parts of the former Soviet Union, along with most of the sheep in the Lake District, contaminated.
We now realise that this view was in fact totally erroneous, and that the real threat to the future of humanity comes from global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels. We further realise that because nuclear energy leaves absolutely no discernible carbon footprint - well, except of course for the whole business of building the power stations, and then transporting the uranium half way across the world to burn in them - it is therefore by far the safest and "greenest" way to meet our future energy needs.
It will also save us the embarrassment of having to resurrect our own indigenous coal industry and give new jobs to all those grubby miners who were so sensibly and cleverly got rid of by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s, despite the fact that billions of tonnes of coal still lie untouched beneath our feet and notwithstanding the fact that developments in technology since then could probably extract the energy from this source without actually releasing any C02 into the atmosphere.
This will remain our policy until there is another Chernobyl, in which case we along with everyone else will of course change our minds again."
Thursday, January 10, 2008
With apologies to the Eye, here's how John Hutton's announcement on the expansion of the nuclear power industry this afternoon might have read....