David Cameron backs UK nuclear energy plans despite Japan earthquake

It’s safe to say that nuclear power hasn’t got the best reputation at the moment. Despite of that though, the Prime Minister David Cameron has reaffirmed the importance of nuclear energy.

Despite the crisis in Japan due to the devastating earthquake, David Cameron has said that nuclear energy is the most important energy used in the UK.

The Prime Minister said in a statement that, “”I do think that nuclear power should be part of the mix in future as it is part of the mix right now. Obviously I’m sure that everyone watching the dreadful events in Japan will want to make sure we learn any lessons.”

The earthquake in Japan has caused serious doubts about the safety of nuclear energy. 3,373 people have died so far as a result of the earthquake, which measured at 8.9 on the Richter scale.

The Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan

The Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan has been majorly affected by the earthquake and several explosions has caused the release of radiation into the atmosphere.

British people living in Tokyo have been advised to get out of Tokyo because of the risk of impending radiation and a 12 mile exclusion zone has been set up around the Fukushima nuclear reactor.

Nuclear power is used to generate electricity and provides around 13-14% of the world’s electricity. As it’s a sustainable energy source that reduces carbon emissions, the UK government and David Cameron are keen to capitalise on nuclear energy.

The Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Chris Huhne is looking at how Britain can avoid a Fukushima situation happening and has reportedly asked the UK’s chief nuclear inspector Mike Weightman to evaluate the Japanese crisis and apply the changes to the 10 nuclear power stations currently in Britain.

Contractors today warned that delays in the UK’s nuclear power programme could have serious economic and energy supply consequences. Therefore Mr Cameron and the UK need to capitalise on nuclear energy and push forward.

As long as the nuclear power plants are safe and can withstand a heavy earthquake, similar to the one which obliterated Japan, then they should go ahead with the plans. But the last thing anyone wants is that the plans are rushed through and safety precautions ignored, as no one in the UK wants an incident like Fukushima or Chernobyl to occure.

Then again, some MP’s, such as Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith have reportedly called for a suspension of Britain’s nuclear programme.

What do you think about the UK’s plans for nuclear energy? Let us know on here or on the Train4TradeSkills Facebook and Twitter pages.


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Posted on March 18, 2011, in construction news, train4tradeskills and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This is a no-brainer. Of course the UK should carry on with a programme for nuclear energy. The nuclear industry in this country has a good track record, there having been only one significant accident when there was a fire and release of radiation at the Calder Hall plant in Cumbria in the 1950’s. To halt, or at least postpone, the current Government plans for a nuclear future would be to give in to the scaremongers and naysayers. We are at greater risk from global warming and ensuing rising sea levels than we ever would be from nuclear energy. Yes, there are risks associated with nuclear power, as there are from other energy sources and environmental factors. We have already recently seen what can happen when things go wrong in the oil industry, and the West is likely to be held to ransom over oil prices as the current Middle-East crisis develops. We need to work for an independent, energy-secure future in the UK, one where we are not dependent on Gulf oil or at risk of the Russians turning off the gas.

    As a direct effect of the explosion in the reactor at Chernobyl, 4000 people died or became ill between 1986 and 2010. In the same period of time, more than 32,000 people have been killed on the roads of the United States alone. Puts things into context a bit, doesn’t it.

    The UK is not prone to serious earthquakes and nor are we subject to regular tsunamis. I am sure that the designers and engineers involved in the industry will take note of what has happened in Japan and build appropriate precautions and safeguards into future power station design.

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