New Nuclear in Cumbria to “Save the Climate”? NO!

To: Cumbria County Council

New Nuclear in Cumbria to “Save the Climate”? NO!


New Nuclear in Cumbria to Save the Climate? NO!

Include a No New Nuclear Clause in your Climate Emergency planning. There is a critical need to Rule out New Nuclear as part of Climate Emergency planning. New Nuclear including so called ‘Small Modular Reactors’ would increase the heat on the planet. Nuclear is a major part of the problem and not part of the solution.

Why is this important?

People are watching with increasing frustration not to mention growing horror as climate emergency resolutions are adopted by councils which leave the door wide open to new nuclear. 

Would so called ‘Small Modular Reactors’ at the ‘Moorside’ site which sits on the floodplain in between Sellafield and the river Ehen, save Cumbria and the planet from burning? All the real life evidence indicates that continuing down the nuclear route with new nuclear such as Hinkley C in Somerset and so called Small Modular Reactors in Cumbria (SMRs look like giant maggots!) would make matters far worse, far faster. 

There are lots of reasons for this: 
SMALL MODULAR REACTORS ARE NOTHING NEW- the nuclear wastes from many SMRs are already languishing at Sellafield awaiting ‘disposal’ in the proposed deep Geological Disposal Facility. These nuclear wastes include research reactors and nuclear submarine reactors built by Rolls Royce. 

Secondly SMRs WOULD NOT BE LOW CARBON They have the same problems of fossil fuel intensive and toxic uranium mining on the lands of indigenous folk around the world, uranium enrichment at Capenhurst in Cheshire, fuel manufacture at the Springfields Nuclear Fuel plant near Preston and final ‘disposal’ in an as yet unspecified nuclear dump. This all requires fossil fuel and lots of it. 

Thirdly new SMRs on the Moorside site (or elsewhere in Cumbria) would be INFINITELY MORE EXPENSIVE to the public purse than alternatives and would detract from the real solutions to the climate emergency, namely a comprehensive energy efficiency programme and the development of renewable energy.

Finally, all nuclear power stations including SMRs are uniquely dangerous. So dangerous in fact to all life on planet earth that no insurance company will underwrite them. The public pays time and again. Rolls Royce cars can be insured. Rolls Royce SMR reactors in nuclear submarines are uninsurable. Last year MPs were told “Energy bills in the UK are inflated partly because households are subsidising nuclear submarines.” Prof Andy Stirling from Sussex argues that one reason the government is willing to burden householders with the expense of nuclear energy is because it underpins the supply chain and skills base for firms such as Rolls Royce and Babcock that work on nuclear submarines. He said: “It is clear that the costs of maintaining nuclear submarine capabilities are insupportable without parallel consumer-funded civil nuclear infrastructures.” 

Cue the fanfare for Rolls Royce SMRs.

Finally, ALL Nuclear power stations including SMRs are 
NOT RESILIENT TO CLIMATE CHANGE. Nuclear power plants function inefficiently or are forced to close during droughts and heatwaves. And many nuclear plants are located along coastlines. As seas rise, coastal nuclear power plants are at-risk from being flooded making them inoperable. Radioactive wastes are in danger of leaking into the oceans. Nuclear power involves major risks, including: a higher probability of serious accidents; a mounting and unsolved radioactive waste problem; and increased nuclear proliferation. Renewable energy risks none of these and does not fuel austerity by massively stealing from the public purse. 

We urge Cumbria County Council to fully recognise that nuclear power is not the ‘solution’ and to include a 
NO NEW NUCLEAR clause in their Climate planning. Anything less than this is totally unacceptable.

Some of the reasons why new nuclear should not be on the table or anywhere near it are outlined in a report which we present to you by the Edinburgh Energy and Environment Consultancy.

Energy Bills Subsidise Nuclear Submarines

Government in cynical ploy to boost northern election hopes with fanciful smr power plant

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