05 July 2009
Britain Will Go Nuclear
I have just been walking by the River. It was sunny – the swifts and swallows were flying high in their intricate aerobatic dance. There was no noise except the peaceful background sounds of nature.
It sent my mind back to those quiet moments at home whenever we have a power cut. It is amazing how noisy our homes are, with that background hum of electrical things buzzing away – fridges, freezers, TVs on standby (not ours, by the way), computers, phones etc. There is an almost eery silence when the power goes off.
We are addicted to electrics. It makes our life so much easier, enabling us to live as gods, kings or pharaohs. Imagine how many slaves or servants it would have needed to get ourselves to the current lap of luxury that we live in – washing done, food made, house vacuumed, house heated, water heated etc etc. Then think of the energy needed to move the distances we do by car, plane or train. We are addicted to fossil fuels.
But fossil fuels pollute the atmosphere and poison the earth. They also cost a lot of money and are a finite resource.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that there is even a smidgeon of a chance that mankind will be able to give up its addiction to energy. As a family, we do everything to reduce our use of electricity - in part to reduce our carbon footprint but also (because we are from the North of England) to save money.
So whatever the misgivings about nuclear energy, and I have many, there will come a time in the next 10 - 20 years when politically nuclear power will become the only option. However, we will fight until the bitter end to oppose it, but it will (like many right and proper things) ineveitabvly be a lost cause.
Within that timeframe, it will become relatively less expensive vis-à-vis fossil fuels and the environmental imperative of reducing carbon emissions will become relatively even more important. Another major driver will be the requirement to offer a special grid for recharging electric car batteries.
At that point, Britain as a nation will inevitably shift towards nuclear energy.