I can see, in the simplistic way that politicians have of viewing things, how nuclear power is an answer to CO2 emissions, but I can also see how it should be a long, long way down the list of things they can do. Government, and far too many activists and lobbyists, take a blinkered view of the problem. They can only think in terms of National Grid level generation. The first step toward cutting CO2 generation is making sure we use less. I don’t have the figures in front of me, but I can confidently say that for the price of one nuclear power station we could install enough lagging, double glazing and low energy bulbs to save more electricity than the plant would generate. Hell, we could probably do it with the amount that’s going to be wasted on the PR nightmare of selling nuclear power to the masses.
So here’s my plan, if there are any politicians reading- increase the minimum insulation requirements for all new builds; give every new house a full set of low energy bulbs; offer the same for existing houses, and actually sell it rather than having it hidden in the documentary equivalent of a sullen mumble; expand the grants system for installing solar systems; and show you’re committed by getting those Greenpeace blokes back on top of Prescott’s palace to wire up the solar panels.
The plan will need finessing, of course, and it could be a hard sell. But think of it like this, if you can be the MP who saved householders hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year you know you’re going to get re-elected. Leave the nuclear dreams to people with no imagination.