Readers' letters: Labour changes tune on nuclear power

While the media has been transfixed by ‘partygate’, the Nuclear Energy Financing bill had its final Westminster reading.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 7:00 am
Hinkley Point C nuclear power station under construction
Hinkley Point C nuclear power station under construction

If passed, it will shift billions of pounds onto consumers, fail to protect them from burgeoning costs and force millions more into fuel poverty.

Sixteen years ago Scottish Labour spurned new nuclear power stations, not only because they take years to construct and cost the earth, but also because they are dangerous.

There is no safe way to dispose of toxic nuclear waste. As a result, Scotland put its efforts into renewables, which currently supply nearly all our electricity.

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Labour has changed its tune. Brian Wilson, former UK Energy Minister and chair of the Scottish Energy Transition Commission, is Scottish Labour’s nuclear cheerleader. He’s also non-executive director of AMEC Nuclear Holdings Ltd, the UK’s largest nuclear services business.

Nuclear construction costs far exceed those of renewables and electricity generation is twice as expensive. The price for nuclear energy is £106/MWh, double the wholesale market price, while offshore wind power is £36.95/MWh. The Westminster bill will force consumers to finance this risky, costly and dangerous industry by buying more expensive nuclear electricity.

Investment in renewables also creates more jobs. The UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources found that “renewable electricity can stimulate six times higher long-term employment impact than an equally sized increase in nuclear electricity.”

Scotland’s future lies in developing its vast renewable energy potential, not following Labour and the Tories down the nuclear rabbit hole. Another reason to restore independence.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Time to fight back in war on motorists

This SNP/Green Scottish government is ramping up its war on motorists.

Councils will be given the power to introduce a workplace parking levy from 4 March 2022.

Nottingham is the only city in the UK imposing this levy and charge an annual £417 per space. Many businesses have passed this cost onto their employees who use the spaces.

Scottish Transport Minister Graeme Dey is behind this draconian decision and said "Scotland needs to take world leading bold action to tackle the climate emergency".

This laughable since Scotland only is responsible for 0.13 per cent of global emissions. Scotland has 2.5 million cars but there are 1.446 billion in the world.

Other than car-hating Edinburgh, I suspect few councils will implement this policy, especially as Scottish local elections are due to take place on 5 May 2022.

Motorists must vote out the SNP and Greens before it is too late.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

Health service choice is up to Scotland

A recent letter (14 January) commenting on the UK Health and Social Care Bill might give the impression that it would see privatisation of the NHS.

Only a few parts of the Bill affect Scotland, which in any event require local legislative approval.

The main item is a new criminal offence concerning violence against women and girls, outlawing virginity testing.

The Bill also references some UK-wide food advertising to tackle obesity, and foreign health provision.

As we all know, NHS in Scotland is a devolved matter. The Scottish Government can decide on priorities and how health services are provided.

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

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