As I said before, the japanese plants are in a lot of ways testament to just how safe the energy is,
the earth quake was massive, (reactors survived), the tsunami was massive (reactors survived). so far there has been 3 explosions, in 1 explosion 11 people were injured and there was a slight leak of radioactive materials.
Compare that to the deep water oil platform where no natural disaster meant 1 explosion meant 11 dead and massive oil leak.
The point that I was trying to make is that when you talk about nuclear power in the UK we don't really have large uninhabited areas that we'd be able to put massive exclusion zones around in case of disaster.
And it still comes back to the point that you can build in as many safety features as you like, but it still doesn't change that things can go wrong. and we don't have the land space to displace en-mass lots of people.
I agree, Dungeness is closing in 2018, that will result in a loss of 1.1Gw of capacity, The uk has to go ahead with the proposed 10 new sites, if not we will have a large energy gap! ther will be one anyone, due tot he fact that new plants cant open as quick as old ones! With out nuclear we will all be sitting in the dark very soon!
wow, misrepresenting the facts as if "only nuclear will save us".
loosing 1.1GW of generating capacity... oh no!! whatever will we do :'(
again. go look at the national grid website and look at the demand data.
we currently exporting half that to France to make up for their shortfall, (same to Ireland).
if you look at the historic data, on Jan 3rd we exported more than this whole stations output (to France) all day on most days in January...
Other days we imported much more than this.
so firstly, that shortfall of 1,000MW is a pitifully small amount (when you consider that the nations consumptions runs at 40 - 50GW that makes that station about 2% of energy demand).
secondly, if you look at the time scales, nuclear won't save us at all!
lets look at Dugness B
it's construction was started in 1965, yet wasn't finished for 18 year (1983), and didn't start producing power until 1985.
where it produces 1.1Gw
lets compare that to my local coal station (Didcot)
Didcot A, work started 1964, finished 1968, and it's got 4 500Mw generators
it burns, coal, gas or biomas (which is considered a totally green/CO2 less fuel).
so if you were to power didcot A on biomass only, it is cleaner than nuclear fuel (no polution rather than lots of radiative waste). quicker to build, cheaper to build, with a higher power output.
Didcot B might be a better comparison construction started 1994, finished 1997(generating in 97 too). produces 1.4Gw (so again, quicker, cheaper with more generating capacity).
there you have the answer...
if there genuinely is an energy crisis looming, we're going to have to stick with traditional burning stations, we can construct burning stations that have greater generating output with less time and less budget than it takes to build a nuclear station.
No nuclear station has eve been completed in less than 6 years, from the start of construction, -and they are still trying to find sites!
There are no nuke stations generating more than 1.2Gw
There is still the problem of waste.
compare that to a coal station, where we have a station that can generate 2Gw of power from biomass (Didcot A), or a station (Didcot B) that can produce 1.4Gw (200MW more than any current nuke station), constructed in less than 3 years.
Couple that with the fact that if we use biomass fuels the stations are arguably completely Co2 neutral.
and there is less risk of accident, radiation leak with nuclear power.
look at the absolute worst case scenario...
you have to build stations on sites where there already are stations because you have to have an entry point to the grid.
so lets assume that a Didcot C is built, and lets assume it's a nuclear station.
it'll produce 1GW (same as other nuclear stations).
that'll put the total power generating ability of the three stations at ~4.5GW (10% of national demand).
now consider an accident at the plant.
firstly this immediately shuts down the nuke reactor there needs to be a massive exclusion zone, this immediately shuts down the other stations.
10% of power generating ability immediately lost.
exclusion zone means that thousands of people are displaced from homes, from Didcot, north as far as Oxford, west as far as Swindon, East as far as Reading, South as far as Newbury...
so that's lots of people removed from local towns (evacuated to where exactly?)
lots of students and academic researchers moved from Oxford (massive stop to research). car production stopping in Swindon (Honda factory), car production stopping in Oxford (Mini factory). Vodafone are based in Newbury, so that shuts down the nations biggest cellular network (or at least stops it's ability to maintain it's network properly), Vodaphone also maintains the tetra network used by police/fire/ambulance so you're possibly going to affect that networks ability.
moving east to reading you're looking at shutting down Microsoft UK, Oracle UK, Sage UK, plus tens of data centres...
a lot of the space is fields a well, so you're also looking at loosing harvests as the land can't be worked and who knows how many thousand cows/sheeps/pigs etc need to be moved...
when you consider the risk to all those industries and people (in the monetary terms of moving people/cattle/shutting down businesses). then nuclear becomes less and less attractive.