Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Nuclear risk

Letters

The debate held by ICE and IMechE (News 13 July) reflected the Department for Trade and Industry's energy review and the ICE's energy paper that to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secure our energy supplies we need a mix of energy sources, and must reduce energy demand.

Neither the speakers, nor ICE's paper, acknowledged the much greater risks associated with nuclear energy.

The paper states: 'There are no technical or safety reasons for excluding it from the energy mix.' At the debate we were told a 'Chernobyl-type' event could never happen again.

It also states: 'The UK's nuclear reactors have been developed and operated safely for over four decades, and that the industry's record is very good when compared to other industries. . . it has been proved that it is possible to store spent fuel, or else recycle it, and condition the waste arising into safe forms for storage over many decades (and arguably over centuries).'

But how can we be certain that a nuclear plant, a vehicle transporting nuclear fuel or a spent fuel store will not be subject to malicious attack?

The consequences will be catastrophic.

As professionals accustomed to assessing and managing risk, engineers must show they can address this issue sensibly.

Jane Wernick, Jane Wernick Associates, London, E2 7PR

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.