Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Can't have it both ways

Guenther Oettinger, the EU's energy commissioner is somewhat of an idiot, a very dangerous type of idiot to be sure, but still an idiot. Currently he's blatting out soundbites about the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan...


Europe contemplates 'nuclear free' world in wake of Japan disaster
All Europe's atomic power reactors will be subjected to natural disaster tests in the wake of a the disaster at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant. 
Tuesday's EU decision came after Germany moved to shut down seven aged atomic plants amid panic over the safety of nuclear power as the Japanese crisis worsened.
Guenther Oettinger, the EU's energy commissioner, warned that a third explosion and fire at the Fukushima plant on Tuesday heralded the world's worst nuclear disaster.
"There is talk of an apocalypse and I think the word is particularly well chosen," he said.
Mr Oettinger said that "stress" testing was needed to ensure that Europe's 143 reactors could withstand earthquakes and other emergencies.
"We want the safety of all reactors to be reviewed in the light of events in Japan," he said. 
"It has to raise the question of whether we in Europe, in the foreseeable future, can secure our energy needs without nuclear power?" 
 Nuclear power is dangerous, no doubt about it, however it has to be pointed out that in Europe few if any of our nuclear plants are built on or near tectonic fault lines so there's not much chance of a tsunami belting up the English Channel to inundate Dungeness after a massive earthquake off the south coast of Devon. Nor I suspect will the French be amused by Oettinger's outburst either as 80% of their power generation is nuclear in origin and as the EU is run for the benefit of the French Oettinger is probably doing the verbal equivalent of pissing into the wind. I suspect Oettinger is from the old school Green movement in Germany, the ones who produced all those nuclear power nein danke stickers back in the heyday of the old Berlin Wall East West protests, plus Germans have always been a little ambivalent about nuclear power anyway. But what Oettinger seems to have forgotten is that the EU is hell bent on carbon free power generation and quite frankly as much as he'd love to have us believe it, wind and solar power just won't hack it, we can't even make them competitive without massive subsidies, government lies notwithstanding on the issue.
So like it or not, nuclear power is the only option for the EU that actually works and will deliver the power necessary to keep the howling savages at bay from stringing up EU energy commissioners.
Saying or suggesting anything else would be a lie and I suspect Oettinger knows this, but his distaste for nuclear power is well known and clearly colours his judgement. Looks like he couldn't resist the opportunity to put the boot in despite the likelihood of a similar disaster as happened to Japan ever happening in northern Europe.

3 annotations:

James Higham said...

so there's not much chance of a tsunami belting up the English Channel to inundate Dungeness after a massive earthquake off the south coast of Devon

Nice thought though.

CJ Nerd said...

Hmmm... but the Bristol Channel area is subject to flooding, though,,_1607
and there are nuclear power stations there at Hinkley Point, Oldbury and (closed) Berkeley.

Quiet_Man said...

Flooding wouldn't affect a power plant quickly enough to cause it to breach containment, well not unless it comes in a 15 metre wave.