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Points to consider

Letters to the editor

The thinking behind nuclear safety cases is strange. First, we have low probabilities of occurrence being multiplied by high consequence figures. The tolerances on the combined figures necessarily run into orders of magnitude and so lack credibility.

Second, we design facilities and procedures for '1 in 10,000 year' natural disasters. These include earthquakes, floods and other events, although the most frequent and dangerous events over the last few thousand years have been wars. Modern armies or well funded terrorists, with their aircraft and missiles, could spread nuclear fission products over vast areas.

SONE also appears to neglect proven approaches such as energy efficiency (eg pumped storage, better building design, integrated transport/town planning), biomass (maize or cane waste conversion to alcohol, willow coppicing etc) and urban waste incineration.

And what about the greenhouse gases generated in producing steel and concrete shielding, digging deep waste repositories, and dismantling giant reactor buildings?

The ICE secretarial facilities are of course open to lobbyists of all persuasions. However, I worry about the public relations effect on our profession of a long-term association with any controversial single interest group. I would like One Great George Street to be seen as a respected independent think tank, not as a propaganda pool.

Simon Reynolds

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