Arthur Scargill, former leaders of the UK’s National Union of Mineworkers, published a commentary on August 8, 2008 on Guardian.co.uk that qualifies as one of the clearest examples of a professional coal advocate trashing nuclear power for economic reasons.
Here is Mr. Scargill’s view of nuclear power and his reaction when a long time critic made a statement that accepted that nuclear power might not be worth fighting if it could meet a series of key tests:
Has George Monbiot sold out on his environmental credentials or is he suffering from amnesia? In his article on these pages last Tuesday he states that he has now reached the point where he no longer cares whether or not the answer to climate change is nuclear – let it happen, he says.
Has he not read the evidence presented by environmentalists such as Tony Benn and me at the Windscale, Sizewell and Hinckley Point public inquiries? Is he unaware that nuclear-power generated electricity is the most expensive form of energy – 400% more expensive than coal – or that it received £6bn in subsidies, with £70bn to be paid by taxpayers in decommissioning costs? Is he unaware that there is no known way of disposing of nuclear waste, which will contaminate the planet for thousands of years? Has he forgotten the nuclear disasters at Windscale, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl?
And here is the contrasting summary of Mr. Scargill’s view of coal power:
We are facing a monumental energy crisis, yet we live on an island with more than 1,000 years of coal reserves from which we can provide all the electricity, oil, gas and petrochemicals that people need, without causing harm to the environment. Britain – despite its massive indigenous deep-mine coal reserves – has never had an integrated energy policy based on coal and renewables, and as a consequence we are now facing the worst energy crisis in our history.
Are you convinced yet that at least some of the opposition to nuclear power comes not from “Environmentalists” but from fossil fuel promoters?