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

Your correspondent, Mr. Hinson, (NCE, 17 January) complains that seven of the nineteen UK nuclear power stations were off-line last year.

I do not find this at all surprising. Many of our nuclear power stations have had their lives extended several times, while successive governments and the public have argued and dithered over energy policy.

I do not think it is fair to criticise nuclear power for this. For my part I am glad that nuclear power has kept the lights on. I find it impressive that the industry has extended design lives from 20 to 50 years.

PETER BETTESS, Brow Head, Kentmere, Cumbria, LA8 9JL

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