Readers' letters: Nuclear power makes expensive waste

The case for nuclear electricity ignores the problem of dealing with its waste.

A tokamak is a machine that confines a plasma using magnetic fields in a donut shape
A tokamak is a machine that confines a plasma using magnetic fields in a donut shape

The latter is highly dangerous for thousands of years and so costs billions to keep secure.

Today we are paying for the energy first produced and used some 80 years ago and future generations down the ages will continue having to deal with this increasing burden as ever more nuclear power stations come on line and later have to be decommissioned at vast expense.

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Unless and until the problem of nuclear waste is solved nuclear electricity is, when ALL costs are factored in, the most expensive and dangerous fuel option.

Perhaps nuclear fusion (rather than fission) power stations (Tokamak) will prove the answer. For my descendants sake I hope so,

Tim Flinn, Garvald, East Lothian

Christians are not persecuted in UK

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This week, Observatory of Intolerance Against Christians in Europe, published the extraordinary claim that the UK is one of the 'most intolerant' countries in Europe towards Christians.

The report bemoans persecution and a loss of “religious freedom”, schools are required to provide sex education that is LGBT inclusive; churches are not exempt from Covid safety measures; the freedom ideologically to oppose abortion is not permitted to extend to harassing anxious women accessing healthcare and religion-run adoption agencies are disallowed from discriminating against same-sex parents.

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Persecution? An equal platform in debate and having to obey laws which apply to all is hardly being thrown to the lions is it?

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society.

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Wood pellets are not eco friendly fuel

Fifty-two Members of Parliament are meeting with Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng to point out that burning wood pellets at the Drax power plant emits 18 per cent more carbon dioxide than burning coal.

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Drax has already been given £4 billion in subsidies which increased UK energy bills.

Chopping down trees in America and the journey to Drax involves diesel machinery, diesel ships and diesel transport. Drax is burning 25 million trees a year to produce its "not so green" electricity.

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Planting trees in place of those felled to absorb CO2 has been discounted since it takes minutes to burn a tree but 44 to 104 years for new ones to re-absorb the CO2 released by burning.

Claims by Drax that biomass comes from waste products from "sustainable forests" is substantially incorrect since over half of the wood pellets come not from waste timber but from mature trees.

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Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

No pet presents for Christmas, please

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Homelessness doesn’t affect only humans. It also affects dogs, cats and other animals and the problem is likely to be exacerbated after the festive season, when many animals bought as Christmas gifts are tossed out like tinsel once the novelty wears off.

Shelters are already struggling to cope with the abandoned animals, like the “pandemic puppies” bought on a whim during lockdown.

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Animal can’t be re-gifted or returned. They need a lot of time, money, energy and devotion for their entire lives. Caring for them properly is resource-intensive and good intentions alone aren’t enough.

Please don’t be tempted to buy an animal or give one as a present this festive season.

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Natalie Tambini, PETA, London N1