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Nuclear reaction

Letters

I have to disagree with your views, expressed in last week's NCE, that nuclear energy '-is not the answer' and 'is not cheap- clean- or safe-'.

Not so. The Royal Academy of Engineering's investigations have found that, over the life span of a power plant, the cost of nuclear energy per kWh by 2020 will be comparable to, or even less than, gas, coal or oil -and a lot less than wind energy.

New technologies to be developed over the coming years will surely reduce these costs further. And when you put a financial cost on CO 2 emissions (even taking into account those from mining and processing), nuclear energy looks even more favourable.

With regards to safety, I can put it no better than by quoting the ICE's 'energy report' briefing on nuclear energy: 'The UK's nuclear reactors have been developed and operated safely for more than four decades, and the industry's occupational safety record is very good when compared to other industries.' If your chief concern is that this government will use its new pro-nuclear policy as an excuse to brush the renewable energy agenda under the carpet, then it is a concern I share. But, like environmentally conscious Finland and Sweden, we must not allow such fears to prejudice ourselves in seeking to meet the considerable energy challenges that we face as a nation in the decades to come.

Jonathan Morris, project manager, Scott Wilson, Beeches, Freefolk, Hampshire

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