Did George Monbiot just pop the “white elephant” myth with his assertion that Hinkley is a “preposterous white elephant.” ?
George is ever so keen on new nuclear especially on burning plutonium wastes. So when he uses the term “white elephant” we should sit up and take notice. We should question why mainstream NGOs have allowed new nuclear proposals to become synonymous with a “White Elephant” rather than for example the far less benign “Hydra”.
White Elephant: A white elephant is a possession which its owner cannot dispose of and whose cost, particularly that of maintenance, is out of proportion to its usefulness. Benign but it can bankrupt you.
Hydra: The defining feature of the Hydra was of course its multiple serpentine, snake like heads, with sharp curved teeth the Hydra would be able to deliver poison fast enough to render a man immovable in minutes. The body of the hydra itself was again snake like, and the Hydra was said to leave trails that were poisonous too, so avoiding the path of the beast was paramount. The heads would regrow back double when cut off making this a Herculean foe to defeat. Deadly it can kill you.
New nuclear would be so much more than a “white elephant”. Try “premeditated murder.” This is how John Gofman one of the founding fathers of nuclear energy described the licensing of any new reactors …and he should know.