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clv101

Government Influence On Bbc

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On the morning of Sunday 16th April the BBC News website published an article at this URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4913296.stm

With the title: Britain 'needs more gas power'

The article reported on The Commons Environmental Audit Committee report about the UK energy gap and included this line:

"Its chairman, Conservative MP Tim Yeo, says 'more gas fired power stations will be needed by 2016 to keep the lights on," according to the BBC's political correspondent Mike Sanders.

Checking back Sunday evening the story has changed. The story at the same URL now has the title: Power shortage risks 'overplayed'

The new article no longer has any comment from Yeo but instead carries a strong rebuttal of The Commons Environmental Audit Committee report from none other than Malcolm Wicks the energy minister. He has even been on TV and radio today doing nothing but suggesting everything is in hand. Easter Sunday seems a strange day to be so busy on TV and radio without actually having anything original to say.

It seems to me that Malcolm Wicks didn't like what the BBC had published and has managed to have the story rewritten with a completely difference emphasis. This level of government influence at the BBC is very worrying - it seems that government is actively covering up reporting of future energy problems. This does not bode well for the future.

The full text the original and rewritten BBC article is available here: http://uk.theoildrum.com/story/2006/4/16/17825/7919

Would you agree this looks like an unhealthily level of government influence on the BBC?

Edited by clv101

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On the morning of Sunday 16th April the BBC News website published an article at this URL: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4913296.stm

With the title: Britain 'needs more gas power'

The article reported on The Commons Environmental Audit Committee report about the UK energy gap and included this line:

Checking back Sunday evening the story has changed. The story at the same URL now has the title: Power shortage risks 'overplayed'

The new article no longer has any comment from Yeo but instead carries a strong reputable of The Commons Environmental Audit Committee report from none other than Malcolm Wicks the energy minister. He has even been on TV and radio today doing nothing but suggesting everything is in hand. Easter Sunday seems a strange day to be so busy on TV and radio without actually having anything original to say.

It seems to me that Malcolm Wicks didn't like what the BBC had published and has managed to have the story rewritten with a completely difference emphasis. This level of government influence at the BBC is very worrying - it seems that government is actively covering up reporting of future energy problems. This does not bode well for the future.

The full text the original and rewritten BBC article is available here: http://uk.theoildrum.com/story/2006/4/16/17825/7919

Would you agree this looks like an unhealthily level of government influence on the BBC?

It does seem very strange. Have they replied to your complaint? If you go to the medialens.org website (where I've linked this story), you can usually find the email of Helen Boaden lying around. I think that she normally does reply to complaints (though not always with the answer which you'd like),

Peter.

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BBC = The Ministry Of Truth.

Unfortunately (for us) the Labour Party has succumbed to Satan and views Orwell's 1984 not as dystopia but as utopia because they only believe in their own self-interest.

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You mean "rebuttal" not "reputable". In my dictionary reputable is only an adjective.

The basic problem is political spinelessness combined with the basic lack of education of these people. I would like to think that an energy crisis will clear out the strutting twits with Firsts in Greats and other bog-paper qualifications, to be replaced by objective, firm individuals with a good grounding in engineering and physics. It is high time this happened anyway.

I foresee very bad times coming due to the stupidity of these folk. What was Tim Yeo thinking of? Has he bothered to ask where the gas is going to come from and how we are going to pay to import the stuff against increased competition further up the pipeline? The answer is, I suspect, "no".

Reading Malcolm Wicks's brief bio on his web site indicates no involvement in technical issues in his life. As for Tim Yeo, he has a degree in ... wait for it... history! He's never been involved in technical matters either.

Muppetville, Muppetania here we come!

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They're fiddling whilst Rome burns, don't worry people, a 2 watt wind turbine on your roof and importing electricity from solar plants in the Sahara will solve all our problems, lar de dar, de dar.

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Checking back Sunday evening the story has changed. The story at the same URL now has the title: Power shortage risks 'overplayed'

Would you agree this looks like an unhealthily level of government influence on the BBC?

CLV. I noticed that too. It is, quite frankly, disgusting. I've seen this before from the BBC, but that one really shocked me. It is so obvious that we have an energy supply crisis and the government want to use the "everything is alright" approach while they are panicking behind the scenes.

Edited by karhu

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Completely agree and I suspect their anti-HPC bias is government-fuelled too. NOt longer a trustworthy news organisation. They sing to the tune of their paymasters.

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This will backfire on them as very few people now trust the government due to their insessent spin and lies. It will ensure we have panic buying at the fuel pumps at some point in the near future, pushing the price of petrol through the roof, and also make HPI and HPC more devastating.

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Oh look I seem to be repeating myself

fas┬Ěcism Audio pronunciation of "fascism" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fshzm)

n.

1. often Fascism

1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

2. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.

2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

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The government are currently trying (and will IMHO) to push through a new calculation of cashout prices for UK power (which has been bizarrely named the "chunky marginal"), it will significantly increase volatility and peak prices. The industry consultation on this has already come out with a majority against, but it looks like it will be pushed through, I think mainly because HMG are deeply worried about the coming supply gap and are looking to either ramp prices even more to incentivise industry new build or justify nuclear (probably both).

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The government are currently trying (and will IMHO) to push through a new calculation of cashout prices for UK power (which has been bizarrely named the "chunky marginal"), it will significantly increase volatility and peak prices. The industry consultation on this has already come out with a majority against, but it looks like it will be pushed through, I think mainly because HMG are deeply worried about the coming supply gap and are looking to either ramp prices even more to incentivise industry new build or justify nuclear (probably both).

They will never gain planning for nuclear stations unless they rip up the planning system, the vested interests and minority groups against nuclear simply hold too much influence under the current system, the debate over wind turbines will appear like a storm in a teacup by comparison.

The planning applications for Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C were basically fait accompli, yet permission lapsed over a decade ago, they do not even stand a chance of regaining permission even on these sites. The government is either extremely naive or the nimbies are going to be in for one hell of a shock, subtle things like public consultations or judicial reviews form no part of this government outlook once they have decided on something.

Edited by BuyingBear

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They will never gain planning for nuclear stations unless they rip up the planning system, the vested interests and minority groups against nuclear simply hold too much influence under the current system, the debate over wind turbines will appear like a storm in a teacup by comparison.

The planning applications for Sizewell C and Hinkley Point C were basically fait accompli, yet permission lapsed over a decade ago, they do not even stand a chance of regaining permission even on these sites. The government is either extremely naive or the nimbies are going to be in for one hell of a shock, subtle things like public consultations or judicial reviews form no part of this government outlook once they have decided on something.

On matters like this, evidence suggests that the decision is made before the consultation. I am not a fan of nuclear because I have been involved with UK sites as a geophysicist on a need to know basis. I have seen enough evidence of historical stuff ups to lose sleep. That isn't why I have moved to NZ - I blame house prices for that - but I certainly feel a lot happier eating fish caught here than from the Irish Sea. The same goes for European milk and meat, some big experiments going on there on how low-dose radiation from Sellafield and Chernobyl affects millions of people over several decades.

Nuclear is an expensive option when viewed in terms of total cost, and surprisingly poor from a C02 argument - it only looks viable if you cook the books and burden future tax payers. Whereas HPI has robbed the younger generation, nuclear power robs the wealth of generations that have yet to be born.

It has security vulnerabilities too, both at the reactor, and when material is transported. It poses a very minor risk of very major devastation - in terms of risk it is a very small number (likelihood of a catastrophe) multiplied by a very large one (cost of catastrophe), but in a climate where reactors are targeted by terrorists, the probability of a catastrophe increases by orders of magnitude, and if the US creates any kind of radiation incident in Iran, Western reactors may be seen as the natural choice for revenge.

For Chernobyl, the cost of failure was immense and the numbers are continuously being revised up - latest expectation is 60,000 deaths. Now the governemnt may claim that a human error accident could not happen in the UK, and they may be right, BUT the nuclear option sends out a very negative political message worldwide. Unless you are happy for other nations to follow suit, including ones that may not be as safe as us, avoid it. If the government now makes a compelling case for building nuclear reactors in response to a global energy and global carbon crisis, then how can we possibly argue that nuclear is not the global solution?

The chances of natural catastrophes affecting a reactor are far from zero. Take for example, the three New Madrid Earthquakes in the Mississippi Valley in 1811 and 1812. At over magnitude 8, they were the largest historical earthquakes to affect the US and they were half a continent away from the plate boundary in California. Huge intra-plate earthquakes like these can not be discounted, even in Britain - all that we know is that they should be very rare, but pepper the planet with nuclear reactors and eventually someone may get caught out by the reactivation of a previously unsuspected mid-continental fault. If New Madrid had happened 200 years later, there may well have been a bunch of 30 year old reactors there now, 5 years from disaster.

I'd be much happier to see the investment applied to a new generation of coal power stations and large-scale tidal lagoons - developing technologies UK can export. Tidal lagoons in the Severn Estuary should be part of the solution, offering 6% or more of UK needs and relatively little environmental cost. Existing wind farms are a bit of a joke, but only because the engineering has not been bold enough - if it received nuclear reactor type funding, you could consider some absolutely enormous offshore options.

UK is well blessed with both coal and renewables, and the North Sea infrastructure provides the means of actually stuffing C02 from power stations back into the rock at modest cost - if Britain doesn't make the most of this, what hope for other countries?

I'll be curious to see how auntie Beeb persuades you all to make the same choice asThe Leader has.

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From look at Hansard from a few years back it seems their plans are quite clear, no doubt we will see their outcomes once the review is clear :-

6. If you were going to replace a station, what sort of time would you require for anticipating planning inquiries and then the build? What number of years would you have to allow before a station could effectively be replaced?

(Mr Ham) In our submissions, we have pointed out that streamlining the planning process is an important issue, to allow timely build and indeed to make future potential build more financiable, but I will ask Richard to make a few comments about the particular points that BNFL make about improving and streamlining the planning process.

7. Apart from the merits or otherwise of streamlining the planning process, let us work for the moment on the assumption that you are faced with the law as it stands. How long would you at a conservative estimate have to wait? The board takes a decision and then switches it on; how many years would it have to be?

(Mr Mayson) Realistically, with the planning and public inquiry process that we have seen, you could expect it to take probably between three and five years including all the preparation, the site preparation work and so on that would be needed, and that would then be followed by early orders of equipment and the construction period and commissioning period which is about another five years, so you are talking of the order of 10 years from the decision to electricity on the bars.

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On matters like this, evidence suggests that the decision is made before the consultation. I am not a fan of nuclear because I have been involved with UK sites as a geophysicist on a need to know basis. I have seen enough evidence of historical stuff ups to lose sleep.

You seem very anti nuclear but expecting the nuclear industry not to have any accidents is impossible. However the nuclear sites have redundant containment, so if things do go wrong any release is contained.

That isn't why I have moved to NZ - I blame house prices for that - but I certainly feel a lot happier eating fish caught here than from the Irish Sea. The same goes for European milk and meat, some big experiments going on there on how low-dose radiation from Sellafield and Chernobyl affects millions of people over several decades.

Bit of a conspiracy theory about the low dose radiation i think, and unfortunately for you, you are probably recieving more radiation (albeit non ionising) than us in the UK due to the very large hole in the ozone layer very close to NZ.

Nuclear is an expensive option when viewed in terms of total cost, and surprisingly poor from a C02 argument - it only looks viable if you cook the books and burden future tax payers. Whereas HPI has robbed the younger generation, nuclear power robs the wealth of generations that have yet to be born.

Granted Nuclear is expensive but i have 3 words for you "SAFETY OF SUPPLY" its fine building new gas fired stations but where is this gas going to come from? How safe is the supply from Russia going to be seeing that it was turned off to several countries last winter. Another reason why nuclear is expensive is because it manages, accounts and pays for ALL of its waste management. NO other industry does this. As soon as the CO2, CO and SuO2 from a coal, oil or gas fired power station leaves the flue then it is someone elses problem.

It has security vulnerabilities too, both at the reactor, and when material is transported. It poses a very minor risk of very major devastation - in terms of risk it is a very small number (likelihood of a catastrophe) multiplied by a very large one (cost of catastrophe), but in a climate where reactors are targeted by terrorists, the probability of a catastrophe increases by orders of magnitude, and if the US creates any kind of radiation incident in Iran, Western reactors may be seen as the natural choice for revenge.

When was the last time a terroist attacked a nuclear reactor? All of the UKs AGR have metres of concrete separating the outside from the core and the PWR has a sealed containment building, so the chances of a terrorist casuing major damage is minimal.

For Chernobyl, the cost of failure was immense and the numbers are continuously being revised up - latest expectation is 60,000 deaths. Now the governemnt may claim that a human error accident could not happen in the UK, and they may be right, BUT the nuclear option sends out a very negative political message worldwide. Unless you are happy for other nations to follow suit, including ones that may not be as safe as us, avoid it. If the government now makes a compelling case for building nuclear reactors in response to a global energy and global carbon crisis, then how can we possibly argue that nuclear is not the global solution?

The chances of natural catastrophes affecting a reactor are far from zero. Take for example, the three New Madrid Earthquakes in the Mississippi Valley in 1811 and 1812. At over magnitude 8, they were the largest historical earthquakes to affect the US and they were half a continent away from the plate boundary in California. Huge intra-plate earthquakes like these can not be discounted, even in Britain - all that we know is that they should be very rare, but pepper the planet with nuclear reactors and eventually someone may get caught out by the reactivation of a previously unsuspected mid-continental fault. If New Madrid had happened 200 years later, there may well have been a bunch of 30 year old reactors there now, 5 years from disaster.

modern reactors are built on a seismically qualified foundations.

I'd be much happier to see the investment applied to a new generation of coal power stations and large-scale tidal lagoons - developing technologies UK can export. Tidal lagoons in the Severn Estuary should be part of the solution, offering 6% or more of UK needs and relatively little environmental cost. Existing wind farms are a bit of a joke, but only because the engineering has not been bold enough - if it received nuclear reactor type funding, you could consider some absolutely enormous offshore options.

UK coal is too good to burn in a power station, Most of the stuff used in the UK is brown coal from SA and Aus. Tidal power is a good idea but not reliable enough and how hard would it be to maintain with the UK weather/sea conditions.

UK is well blessed with both coal and renewables, and the North Sea infrastructure provides the means of actually stuffing C02 from power stations back into the rock at modest cost - if Britain doesn't make the most of this, what hope for other countries?

What renewables are these, wind farms? fine we just need 630 2MW turbines building to replace 1 AGR, and at least the nuclear station will be providing power when its not windy.

I'll be curious to see how auntie Beeb persuades you all to make the same choice asThe Leader has.

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UK coal is too good to burn in a power station, Most of the stuff used in the UK is brown coal from SA and Aus. Tidal power is a good idea but not reliable enough and how hard would it be to maintain with the UK weather/sea conditions.

Whilst Australia does have the world's largest single deposit of brown coal, that is located in Victoria and is used almost exclusively in power stations adjacent to the mines which supply around a quarter of the country's electricity. A much smaller low grade coal mining and power generation operation is located in South Australia. It accounts for about 2% of national power production (but about a third of that used in South Australia).

The coal that Australia exports is mined in NSW and Queensland and is black coal either thermal or coking grade. Domestic use is primarily for electricity (about 50% of the national supply) and steel making but the majority of production is exported. This is the coal that the UK and other countries importing coal from Australia receive.

Brown coal is not practical to export due to (1) the high water content (45% - 70% depending on source in Australia's case) and the real risk of spontaneous combustion, neither of which is a problem with black coal. Apart from a typically higher sulphur content and high mining costs, the coal found in the UK is a direct "drop in" replacement for imported coal in power stations. Indeed they were built to run on UK coal in the first place.

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It seems to me that Malcolm Wicks didn't like what the BBC had published and has managed to have the story rewritten with a completely difference emphasis. This level of government influence at the BBC is very worrying - it seems that government is actively covering up reporting of future energy problems. This does not bode well for the future.

What you mean inflation is only 2% and people love MP's :lol:

Most people that watch the BBC know Blair controls it and people are turning away from news papers and going on-line as the media is controlled by a few Mr Bigs and goverment.

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Dave,

I don't see any links to back up your assertions...At least give me the name of the pub where you obtained your data.

You seem very anti nuclear but expecting the nuclear industry not to have any accidents is impossible. However the nuclear sites have redundant containment, so if things do go wrong any release is contained.

Read of this photo-essay about Chernobyl, and justify that low risk is ever low enough - The hastily constructed sarcophagus is failing already, but it needs to last for another 100,000 years to avoid releasing another deadly cloud over Europe - 90% of the original 180 tons of fuel remains inside. Meanwhile, BNFL has a shocking track record of incompetence and shoddy, dishonest, record keeping - have you ever read the scathing HSE reviews? Jarvis lost its railway contract for much, much less. Have you any idea how many accidents the nuclear industry has had worldwide? These are just the ones we have been told about.There are plenty of British precedents where containment has failed or was not even attempted. How about the heavy water discharge pipe at Drigg for example, the one that empties straight into the Irish sea? :blink:

Bit of a conspiracy theory about the low dose radiation i think, and unfortunately for you, you are probably recieving more radiation (albeit non ionising) than us in the UK due to the very large hole in the ozone layer very close to NZ.

I'm not suggesting that there is a deliberate experiment. I simply refer to that fact that following the Windscale and Chernobyl incidents, Europeans have been exposed to prolonged doses of above natural radiation. The long term effects are still being monitored and are not predictable because it has not happened before. Thanks for reminding be to wear a hat by the way. What are you saying? If only the residents of Ukraine and Belarus had remembered to wear hats and sunscreen? There is a world of difference between UV an ionising radiation. There wasn't much of a VI pro-CFC lobby, so the ozone risk was recognised a dealt with, whereas the pro-nuclear lobby means that we are barely debating NP.

Granted Nuclear is expensive but i have 3 words for you "SAFETY OF SUPPLY" its fine building new gas fired stations but where is this gas going to come from? How safe is the supply from Russia going to be seeing that it was turned off to several countries last winter. Another reason why nuclear is expensive is because it manages, accounts and pays for ALL of its waste management. NO other industry does this. As soon as the CO2, CO and SuO2 from a coal, oil or gas fired power station leaves the flue then it is someone elses problem.

Yes, the nuclear industry has a duty of safety. What is your point exactly, that you wish to even the playing field by pretending fossil fuel emissions are millions of times more toxic than they are? That enormous chimney at Sellafield, the one with the hasilty added strap-on filter, are you suggesting that nothing ever went up it? How about that cloud of radioactive material the day the reactor came close to blowing up?

Also, where exactly is Britains Uranium mine that makes this a safe supply? :blink: The risk to the gas supply from the East is significant, which is why they are adapting Milford Haven to receive LNG ships. You should be glad that you live in Britain, not in some land-locked European country where there is a real risk to gas supply.

When was the last time a terroist attacked a nuclear reactor? All of the UKs AGR have metres of concrete separating the outside from the core and the PWR has a sealed containment building, so the chances of a terrorist casuing major damage is minimal.

Rubbish. If they are of a mind to, their chances are excellent.

let's see what the government says about this:

In 2002 the UK House of Commons Defence Committee requested a report on the risks of terrorist attacks on nuclear facilities, and the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology is due to publish its long-awaited reply in the next few weeks.

New Scientist has seen a copy of the report and can reveal that it says that a large plane crashing into a reactor could release as much radioactivity as the Chernobyl accident in 1986, while a crash into waste tanks at Sellafield in Cumbria could cause at worst, "several million fatalities".

Here are some values in TBq to give you a feel for the risk posed by the storage of radioadctive liquid outside of those concrete walls.

Released for Chernobyl Core 89,000

In Chernobyl Core 230,000

In HLW tanks at Sellafield 7,070,000

modern reactors are built on a seismically qualified foundations.

Magnitude 8? My example was of a sequence of 3 larger than magnitude 8 earthquakes in an area that would otherwise be regarded as seismically quiescent. Far stronger than magnitude 7 earthquakes that reactors are usually required to wisthstand. Much closer to home, there is a big question mark over the seismic stability of Cadarache in France. They have been frantically bringing their buildings up to magnitude 7 standard because since building it, they decided that it gets a strong shake every 20 years. They don't build for 8's because 8's are not likely at any one site withn a 10,000 year period. Of course, the more sites you have worlwide and the longer they operate, the bigger the risk. We currently have enough sites worldwide that if they all has 10K tolerances, we would expect one to be subjected to a critical failure event once every hundred years or less on average. They should all be built to at least 100K year event tolernaces, but buildings that strong cost too much, so we have a dangerous compromise.

If nuclear is good for Britain, then it must be good for the globe, and if the whole world follows, the proliferation of reactors will make that 10,000 return time look statistically much too short.

UK coal is too good to burn in a power station, Most of the stuff used in the UK is brown coal from SA and Aus. Tidal power is a good idea but not reliable enough and how hard would it be to maintain with the UK weather/sea conditions.

We burn heaps of UK coal. UK COAL is Britain's biggest producer of coal, supplying around 7% of the country's energy needs for electricity generation. Today they are negotiating a 25% increase in cost to power generators, because even at 25%, they are stil cheaper than imports, such is the gloabl demand for coal.

You say tidal isn't reliable enough. How much investment has it received, compared to nuclear? Chicken feed. American company Tidal electric are the major player in UK and Chine. They state that,

The United Kingdom has the second highest tidal range in the world and a strong commitment to renewable source power. The total potential capacity of power from UK tides using the offshore tidal generation technology is roughly 6000 MW.. That's several large reactors, not at all trivial.

What renewables are these, wind farms? fine we just need 630 2MW turbines building to replace 1 AGR, and at least the nuclear station will be providing power when its not windy.

Yes, tidal and wind, waves and hydro to a lesser extent, with additional fossil fuel on standby for off-days. I can only guess how many turbines you could build for the cost of a nuclear reactor, and how they would then compare in maintenance costs, fuel costs, staffing, pensions, decommissioning. How about if you try to recover any subsidy that has already been spent, as you would R&D in a private venture. How about getting insurance ?

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Geek man

Chernobyl was an unfortunate accident and thankfully we have learnt from it. Most of the deaths that will occur will be from the group of 600000 liqiudators who bravely cleaned the site up. With regard to the sarcophagus, true it is failing but there are plans in place for a replacement to be constructed very soon.

Europeans are not being irratiate anymore than Americans, Africans or asians, take a look at these sites and you will find that on average we recieve no more than 3mSv

http://www.hpa.org.uk/radiation/publicatio...hpa_rpd_001.pdf

http://www.world-nuclear.org/education/ne/neap1.htm

have you considered the fallout from all the nuclear explosion conducted in the 1950s/60s?? No, as these produced a much larger spike in the worlds radiation level than chernobyl or windscale. I beleive the strap on filter you are refering to was the one on the windscale piles?? This was added before 1957 and helped contain a lot of contam during the fire.

all industries have a duty of care not just the nuclear industry, fossil fuel emissions can contain some very nasty stuff as well as creating acids.

The UK doesnt have any uranium mines but its supplies are considered safe as it is imported from Canada and Australia

It appears your knowledge of how nuclear reactors work is a bit limited, it is impossible to have a nuclear explosion from any reactor. Windscale was on fire, the reactor was shutdown. Chernobyl was initially a steam explosion and secondly a hydrogen explosion. Nuclear reactors dont have the enrichment or the mass high enough for it to explode.

Im sorry but i cant believe that sellafield would have HLW tanks above groud with a target painted on them, for one it is high level waste so it will be contained by very thick walls of steel/concrete. have you seen what happens to an aircraft hitting concrete?? lets just say the aircraft loses every time

http://www.jokaroo.com/extremevideos/plane_vs_wall.html

How can you compare sellafield with chernobyl with regard to how much radioactivity it would release?? Sellafield is a reprocessing plant and holds the fuel waste from a alot of power stations. Is all this waste going to be contained in one tank?? I think not

Drigg is a low level storage facility and any one found dischaging heavy water should be sacked for wasting a good resourse, heavy water is very expensive. I think you meant tritium which all nuclear power station discharge however trit is naturally occuring and has a very low energy

7% of UK power is provided by UK coal, so where does the other 21% come from??

6000MW is the total potential for the UK from tidal power, i think that might mean if the UK is surrounded by tidal generators!! its like saying Australia has the potential for 100000MW of nuclear power so they are stupid if they dont use it

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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