Going nuclear

Just a quick post on the UK Government’s decision a couple of weeks ago to give the go ahead for a new generation of nuclear power stations. The decision for me is a stupid one rather than a dangerous one — I’m not anti-nuclear for safety reasons — my main objection is that the Government has just reduced the chances of an entrepreneurial set of solutions to a secure low carbon energy future.

I think they’ve pushed investment in micro and renewable energy in the UK back by a decade. It’s an industry that could grow really rapidly, providing employment and massive value but now the money is going to go to a few big firms that will — however you try to cut the figures — end up being be publicly subsidised.

Actually, my guess is that by 2020 nuclear construction will have halted. There will be court case after court case, protest after protest (and by the way, there are also hardly any trained nuclear engineers in the UK). We will end up with a set of mothballed nuclear construction sites and collapsed companies who have invested billions. Somebody is going to pick up the bill and you can expect lawyers to make tens of millions of pounds over the coming years writing the liability contracts for all this. If it doesn’t bring down the energy companies, it will bring down their insurers. Or Government will pick up the bill.

It’s an awful decision that shows no foresight and no trust in green innovation or entrepreneurialism.


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