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Fission future


No matter how much public consultation we have, there is only one conceivable outcome to the current nuclear debate.

Fossil fuel production has probably peaked, but even if further reserves do continue to become available, they will be outstripped by rapidly rising world demand.

The only proven alternative base load source is nuclear, and given the lead in time for a new generation of reactors to be brought on line, the decision to proceed needs to be taken quickly.

Antony Oliver rightly points to the need to invest in alternative and renewable sources, but to do this to the exclusion of nuclear power would be nationally irresponsible and probably economically and socially disastrous. We are already seeing an escalation in energy costs, and the situation will get worse as developing economies increase their demand.

Even if China were to achieve its target of 30% renewable, it still leaves 70% of a demand that within a relatively few years could equal the entire current world oil production.

Safety, waste storage and security issues will remain a concern, but I put much more faith in these being satisfactorily addressed than in renewable technologies being able to plug even a minor part of the core energy gap.

Let's not spend too much time talking - fusion today, fission tomorrow!

Howard Richings (F), 5 Hopmans Close, Lytchettt Matravers, Poole, Dorset BH16 6AY

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