Article

Royal Society set to back nuclear

Prime Minister Tony Blair’s bid to build new nuclear power stations will be backed by scientists in Scotland this week, the Sunday Herald can reveal.....Insiders have told the Sunday Herald that as well as endorsing new nuclear stations it will support wind farms.

A long-awaited report by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) is going to come out in favour of more reactors to replace those at Hunterston in North Ayrshire and Torness in East Lothian when they shut down.

The RSE, established in 1783, is an independent club of 1400 scientists elected by their peers as experts in their fields. The result of its year-long investigation into energy supply and demand in Scotland up to 2050 is due to be published at a news conference in Edinburgh tomorrow morning.

Insiders have told the Sunday Herald that as well as endorsing new nuclear stations it will support wind farms. “All energy sources which are now technically and economically feasible should be considered,” said one of the report’s authors. “We haven’t written this report to please people. If it’s unpopular, that’s too bad.”

Critics have claimed that the nine experts chosen by the RSE to conduct the energy inquiry were biased in favour of nuclear power. They include Dr Robert Hawley, the former chief executive of the nuclear power company British Energy, and a member of the lobby group Supporters of Nuclear Energy.

Others are known to be supportive of nuclear power, and none are on record as critics. The energy inquiry... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A long-awaited report by the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) is going to come out in favour of more reactors to replace those at Hunterston in North Ayrshire and Torness in East Lothian when they shut down.

The RSE, established in 1783, is an independent club of 1400 scientists elected by their peers as experts in their fields. The result of its year-long investigation into energy supply and demand in Scotland up to 2050 is due to be published at a news conference in Edinburgh tomorrow morning.

Insiders have told the Sunday Herald that as well as endorsing new nuclear stations it will support wind farms. “All energy sources which are now technically and economically feasible should be considered,” said one of the report’s authors. “We haven’t written this report to please people. If it’s unpopular, that’s too bad.”

Critics have claimed that the nine experts chosen by the RSE to conduct the energy inquiry were biased in favour of nuclear power. They include Dr Robert Hawley, the former chief executive of the nuclear power company British Energy, and a member of the lobby group Supporters of Nuclear Energy.

Others are known to be supportive of nuclear power, and none are on record as critics. The energy inquiry committee was headed by Maxwell Irvine, a physics professor from the University of Manchester, who has previously warned that phasing out nuclear power could lead to energy shortages.

Richard Lochhead MSP, the Scottish National Party’s energy spokesman, said: “Ever since the Royal Society of Edinburgh first mooted this inquiry, there has been the suspicion – given the avowed support of some members for nuclear power – that they would win the day.”

Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland, said: “It is politically naive to say that we can have major investment in nuclear power at the same time as new renewables.”

The RSE’s conclusions, however, will be welcomed by some, including the UK government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir David King. He believes that nuclear power, along with renewables and energy efficiency, will all be needed to combat the threat of global warming.

“There are no energy generation solutions that do not have both advantages and drawbacks,” King told the RSE during the inquiry.

The RSE would not comment on the contents of its report in advance of publication tomorrow. However, the inquiry chair, Maxwell Irvine, warned that energy may not be as abundant in the future as it is now.


Source: http://www.sundayherald.com...

JUN 18 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/3093-royal-society-set-to-back-nuclear
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