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United Kingdom

WE NEED NUCLEAR

Both renewable and nuclear energy will be needed before the end of the next century with the world's current and increasing use of fossil fuel. In the UK nuclear is competitive and does not have "inherent" safety problems. Otway is sceptical about how much benefit the wind industry will gain from the "dirty fuel" element in energy pricing.

Further to your article "Brussels Budget Bungle" (Windpower Monthly, December 1995). You are quite right to draw attention to the unsatisfactory methods that the European Commission has used in deciding where to allocate funds, but your arguments are not improved by giving side swipes at nuclear power plants. Both renewable and nuclear energy will be needed before the end of the next century with the world's current and increasing use of fossil fuel. In this country nuclear is competitive and does not have "inherent" safety problems. Even some wind turbines in some countries have safety problems, just like nuclear.

You refer to the "dirty fuel" element in energy pricing. I wonder if the wind industry is wise to place too much hope on getting benefit from this. Having visited China and Singapore in the last year and seen their great rates of development, western Europe would be very foolish to artificially increase its energy costs when competing with Far East industry, particularly when it is uncertain if acid rain and global warming are real problems. I believe that acid rain problems in so far as they are related to sulphur may have been made worse by clean air policies. Substances like cement dust and iron oxides would have contributed to neutralising sulphurous fumes, though I am not advocating abandoing clean air policies.

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