According to numerous outlets, including the Express, the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron is about to sign a long-debated deal with China and France to build a “prototype” nuclear reactor in Essex and to help fund the development of two new reactors on UK soil, at Hinckley in Somerset and Sizewell in Suffolk. The former will be operated by two major Chinese energy companies, and the latter by France’s EDF Energy.
These plans have ignited much controversy and opposition, not only because of the perceived dangers to the environment through accident and contamination, but also because of the huge subsidies the Government has agreed to pay EDF and its Chinese partners – which will of course be footed by UK tax payers.
The Chinese government’s rush toward greater dependence on nuclear power has also been described as “insane” by one senior Chinese scientist, because the country is allegedly not investing enough in safety controls, which is a major cause for concern post-Fukushima.
The fact these projects are described as being “at the core of the Government’s drive to replace Britain’s ageing fossil fuel plants with low-carbon alternatives” should possibly alert us to the danger of the climate change campaign being rather cynically hijacked for highly questionable and environmentally destructive ends.