WNF Industry News

Wales Nuclear Forum: Industry News, keeping you informed of important updates and informative information in the sector.

SEPTEMBER 2020

Nuclear Power: Are we too anxious about the risk of radiation

This week, Boris Johnson restated the UK government’s commitment to nuclear power. But of six sites identified for replacements for the country’s ageing nuclear reactors, three have now been abandoned, two are waiting approval and just one is under construction. So is it time to reassess our attitude to nuclear power?

Consider this conundrum: when you talk to climate scientists you quickly discover they are far more worried about the dangers of global warming than most of us. Some tell you privately that they have had counselling to cope with the psychological effects of knowing the world is facing an impending disaster and not enough is being done.

Meanwhile, speak to experts on the effects of ionising radiation and you find they are surprisingly relaxed about the risks low-level exposure poses to human health – certainly far less so than most people.

Despite the popular anxiety about this form of energy, it’s hard to see how the UK government can meet its carbon reduction targets without new nuclear. Not least because decarbonising transport and home heating will involve a massive increase in electricity demand.

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