Sunday, 20 November 2005

HMG listens to Nog!

The UK is unlikely to meet its 2010 target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20%, the government's chief scientific advisor has admitted.
Sir David King is the chief scientific gadgy quoted here on the BBC site. He then goes on to support my advice to build nuclear power plants, by 2101 we'll only be producing 4% of our energy requirements from nuclear plants. Of course Sir David hasn't mentioned reading my blog and no doubt will pretend that he thought this up all by himself - as if!

15 careful considerations:

Rob Spence said...

"gadgy" - is that his official title?
BTW, if nuclear is such a great option, how come the privatised nuclear industry needs to be bailed out to the tune of billions of taxpayer pounds?
That's a genuine question by the way - I really don't know very much about nuclear power - though I do know that Germany is phasing it out, and they don't seem too bothered about it.

Nogbad said...

Gadgy is a catch all title similar to blokey :-)

I don't pretend to be an expert on how our money is spent Rob but some considerations. Nuclear power stations were initially supported by a loophole in the NFFO - Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation - which was aimed at supporting renewable energy generation but also meant that nuclear plants could claim subsides. Unfortunately though we don't ever get ow't for now't, the cost of nuclear power is the waste and successive governments have failed to make provision for long-term storage of nuclear waste and decommissioning costs. Add in that one of BNFLs biggest investments was in the Sellafield reprocessing centre which was then effectively stopped from importing nuclear waste to reprocess - remember the jive over some stuff from Japan? - and you can see some of the issues nuclear power faces. That said - at different times we've bailed out most of the power sources in this country and I don't doubt that we'll carry on doing it despite privatisation - it's unthinkable that any government would let Britain become reliant on power generated elsewhere (Britain and France are linked and share power during times of shortage). British Nuclear Fuel Limited are owned by us anyway, HMG are 100% shareholders.

Angie said...

I say we all write him letters demanding that he gives you credit!!

And why do you not have your comments popping up anymore??

Nogbad said...

Re: Not popping up. Since reinstalling Firefox it refuses to allow pop-ups even though I've told it otherwise, so I've changed it so that I can read and reply to comments on me own blog - is that a problem? :-) It's even worse on sites using holoscan where I sometimes have to move to using the dreaded Internet Explorer!

Angie said...

Well that is weird. I use firefox and have no issues with blogger comment popups or haloscan popups. Not to imply that it's you, but perhaps it's you?? ;)

Echo Mouse said...

LOL
It's okay Nog, we all know he got the idea from you ;)

Rob Spence said...

Nigel - you say "it's unthinkable that any government would let Britain become reliant on power generated elsewhere " - I wish I shared your optimism. In a report from Amicus
we are told that we will be reliant on external sources for three quraters of our gas by 2020.

TRT said...

Is Westminster running out of hot air?

Nogbad said...

Rob - I think there is a subtle difference between the fuel and actual energy production. We currently import most if not all the coal we use to generate electricity but the logic probably runs that in the event of fuel supply problems we can shift to a different supplier. If we run short of electricity we are reliant on our neighbours (for American readers that's the group you know as "frog eating surrender monkeys" or similar). That's a rather invideous position for HMG - particularly as they are number three or four in the current "Axis of Terror" and Bush may decide to boost his popularity and open the way for Jeb to take over by launching some more pre-emptive strikes against countries who harbour governments with which he doesn't agree.

Angie - It probably is me but I've zapped and reinstalled Firefox a couple of times and messed about with more settings than a bloke at a setting-messing party and it's not hanging together.

Mouse - You say the cutest things :-)

GW - No way - I simply can't see that happening! Can you?

Word verification is "frybe" so all together now - "Fry be to de moon and led me sing among de sdars" - It's Frank Sinatra with a cold of course!

TRT said...

Indeed, but if you look at the roof of the new Westminster offices you can see big fans up there. I reckon they might be attached to generators. All the hot air is being reclaimed and used to power [strike]Davros's[/strike] Lady Thatcher's life support systems.

Nogbad said...

Interview with a technical blokey on R5 this evening - the current government's ability to meet the CO2 reductions is directly related to the "Dash for gas" of the Glorious Lady's government.

I'll paraphrase rather than suggesting that he said the following but: Had King Arthur won the Miner's Strike we'd now (possibly) be double stuck. Lekky would cost twice as much as we continued to subsidise inefficient pits AND we'd be up a gum tree over the amount of CO2 that coal fired stations, even those using relatively clean UK coal, emit. Of course this is an unintended consequence of switching to cheaper gas but it's part of how we got where we are.

Rob Spence said...

"technical blokey" - is he higher up than a gadgy then?
I can accept the argument about coal - though it seems barmy to be importing coal from Poland when there are still unexploited stocks here - but I wish nuclear wasn't seen as the main alternative. Can't see terrorists targeting a wind farm somehow...

Nogbad said...

We're still mining coal but it's simply not cost effective. As for terrorist threats - nuclear power plants are a bugger to blow up (I really hope that doesn't come back to haunt me). Chernobyl went up, in part, because of the Soviet system where people wouldn't aknowledge a problem and people were frightened of telling their bosses that they'd screwed up. They also had to override a number of safety systems - they were carrying out a test that went wrong. When Three Mile island nearly made everyone's cornflakes glow it was a dodgy valve and human error (caused by very poor human computer interface design) but external attacks on a power station would be very tough even now we've seen the lengths terrorists will go to. A bigger threat is the amount of nuclear waste already out there, some of it being transported by rail across Europe (and probably the States). If I wanted to cause an outrage I'd go for one of those rather than a power station.

Nogbad said...

Since posting that stuff about Chernobyl I've found a good site which covers what happened - it's here. The events at TMI are a standard case study when looking at system failures.

kat said...

Very good site. I've saved it for my son to look at. The BBC report is worth watching.