“I first became interested in Nuclear Power in the early 1970s. At the time concern was being expressed about shortages of fossil fuel. However there was optimism that any energy shortage could be over come by increasing the number of Nuclear Power stations. Sadly this did not happen, partly as a result of protests from environmentalists and other anti-nuclear campaigners. At that time climate change was not a topic concerning the public. It is a sobering thought to consider what the effect on atmospheric green house gas levels would have been if the world had continued to replace fossil fuels by nuclear power to generate electricity from the 1970s.
Today the new generation III and IV nuclear power stations are even safer than the generation II nuclear power stations which are currently the majority in use, particularly as they are designed to overcome safety concerns raised by the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents. The Nuclear power industry, together with wind and solar power, has one of the best safety records of all energy producers. Furthermore, it has become increasingly clear that the advantages of using nuclear power to generate electricity is a vital weapon in the fight against increasing green house gas emissions due to the continued use of fossil fuels.
I look forward to a continued use of nuclear power in the future. Particularly exciting proposals are the plans to develop small modular nuclear power stations to generate power for use in local communities. Currently China, India and Russia are all in the process of constructing SMRs. My other hope is that the trend to replace existing nuclear power stations before the end of their useful life will cease. It has been calculated that if nuclear reactors in Western Europe overall are shut down prematurely, the region could lose the chance to prevent over 100,000 premature deaths and 7 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions due to fossil fuel burning over the next 15 years.”
Peter Vaughan – East Devon Green Party