Sir David King, the chief scientist who was under Tony Blair, stated that the UK will have to move to more cost-effective energy sources, away from coal power stations. However, due to the sheer cost of wind turbines, he claims the the bearing on the tax paying “would be simply phenomenal”.
The cost of wind turbines mainly lies in their installation and maintenance. This makes them cost a lot to run, but the government is insistant that their ultimate goal is to get 25,000 set up and running around the country.
According to Sir David King, the UK needs around 26 nuclear power plants by 2050 in order to provide enough electricity to phase out fossil fuel power stations.
Running a nuclear power station provides little impact on the environment in comparison to fossil fuel power stations. However, the risks lie in what would happen in the event of a nuclear disaster. The recent earthquake in Japan is proof of this, with experts predicting that it might be 100 years before all the radioactive fuel can be removed from the Fukushima power station.
However, the UK is a lot less likely to suffer the effects of a natural disaster such as a tsunami or earthquake than Japan is. So the government is seeing it as a more cost effective and eco-friendly option to power the nation.
The disposal of spent radioactive fuel rods are the main issue.
If the government is going to build many new nuclear power stations then the waste is going to have to be stored in a safe place. The problem with nuclear waste is that it takes literally thousands of years to become non-radioactive.
You can read more about the nuclear waste here.
What are your thoughts on the UK opting for nuclear power rather than Wind powered energy? Leave a comment below and let us know.