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Do we really need to study the cost of nuclear power?

Mark Whitby's offer of a bursary to study the cost of nuclear power must be welcome, more so if it helps engineers to greater prominence in identifying the ideal energy mix.

I doubt that it is just a question of establishing nuclear power’s true costs and carbon generation.

Nuclear energy must be set in the context of its competing sources of energy. What would be the cost of carbon capture from coal fed power and when would it be reliably available?

What can be assumed to be wind power’s reliable contribution, how soon and at what cost? How do we evaluate the conceivable unreliability of gas supply?

Other variables apply to wave power, barrages and perhaps others. Present wisdom is that all sources will be needed, which sounds pretty persuasive.

We cannot argue the niceties indefinitely and obsolete sources of power will soon need replacement.

The time needed to deal with objectors is thus part of the true cost.

The first need may thus be establishing which of the many claims for one source of energy or another are reliable, defining studies to make others believable and then filling the gaps.

How far would £50,000 stretch in this context and how quickly might one expect answers?

Government is no doubt listening.

Over to you Mark.

STEFAN TIETZ, 1 Halsey Street, London, SW3 2QH.

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