And yes, nuclear fission produces waste that must be stored deep underground. But here too, the expertise continues to improve. Finland is building a state-of-the-art geological storage facility and has estimated that radiation escaping the site after 1,000 years will have the same impact on a person living directly above it as eating two bananas. Greenpeace could not find fault with the study.
Those who oppose nuclear power should be challenged on how they propose that the UK meet its net zero targets while simultaneously achieving energy independence. In response to Westminster’s nuclear plans, the SNP said: “We believe that significant growth in renewables, storage, hydrogen and carbon capture is the best path to net zero by 2045. “
It is not an energy policy, it is a wing and a prayer. We absolutely have to pursue all of these technologies to help fight climate change, but some are intermittent while others have not been proven. As it stands, that mix will leave this country exposed to exactly the kinds of issues we are facing right now.
We have to thank Germany for showing us what happens when a large to medium-sized economy shuns nuclear power. First, it burns more coal. Second, it relies more on Russia for gas imports. Thus, Germany is moving away from both net zero and energy security with all the environmental and geopolitical consequences that this implies.