Only nuclear can save us now - by Alex Roussinos for Unherd
Finally a measure of realism and sanity in the energy debate. Aris Roussinos welcomes the belated shift to nuclear power both here and across Europe as the consequences of Mrs Merkel's precipitate decision to shut down Germany's reactors following the Fukushima incident in Japan in 2011 play themselves out.
"The future is nuclear. In one of her characteristic knee-jerk reactions to media moral panics, Merkel’s shuttering of Germany’s nuclear power plants saw the continent’s industrial giant become ever-more dependent on coal and imported Russian gas, with disastrous consequences for both the environment and EU foreign policy. George Monbiot was accurate enough, back in 2017, in describing her as “the world’s leading eco-vandal,” but the Green tendency he represents is just as bad for leading resistance to the only viable short-term solution: a massive increase in nuclear power generation.
Our own government’s push to open 16 new nuclear power stations by 2050 should be welcomed by green campaigners. As the analyst Anatol Lieven emphasises in his recent book Climate Change and the Nation State, nuclear power is the only viable means of reducing carbon emissions within the narrow timeframe before climate change leads to social and political collapse across the most densely populated portions of the earth — with unimaginable consequences for global civilisation."
There are sound geo-political reasons for having our own nuclear industry here in the UK too:
Welcome too, and long-overdue, is the government’s push to remove China’s state-owned General Nuclear Power Group or CGN from its 20% stake in the new Sizewell C plant: as long as the Chinese state retained even the slightest role in a matter as strategically sensitive as nuclear power generation in southern England, any talk of “confronting China” in the distant Pacific was absurd.
In this context, as we head into a possible winter of discontent over worldwide power shortages, the anti-nuclear protests of the Scottish separatists and their Green allies should be simply swept away by Westminster’s firm yet benevolent hand. Clean, reliable power generation is a matter of national security as well as economic growth; like foreign policy, it is a decision for central government to make in defence of the interests of the entire nation, and not a matter for a devolved regional administration with a very lacklustre record of competence.