In the midst of the debate about whether or not the UK should include new nuclear power as one of its major options in a new energy strategy designed to lessen the island nation’s dependence on imported coal, oil and gas and to meet its obligations as a signatory of the Kyoto accord, the Scottish government has made a number of statements indicating that there was “no chance” that there would be any new nuclear power stations welcomed in their corner of the “slightly” United Kingdom. (See, for example, Our leaders blow hot and cold on energy published on January 12, 2007 on the Telegraph.co.uk web site.)
The headline reasons for this stance is that Scotland is a land with lots of wind, tidal and wave energy that is sufficient to meet its own needs without the “risk” associated with using atomic fission and storing the left overs.
Here is a story that provides a different motivation – apparently the government has been providing positive signals that it supports large subsidies aimed at reopening a flooded coal mine called Longannet in Fife. The story, titled Campaigners claim government positive over Longannet reopening qualifies as a smoking gun where active campaigners against nuclear power indicate that part of the reason for their opposition is that the have financial or political reasons for supporting fossil power instead.
The written text of the story might not include as direct a comment as I normally like, but the timing of the discussion and the contrast between “no chance” for nuclear and support for outmoded coal is hard to ignore.