Saturday, July 22, 2006


letter sent

Dear Charles Clarke,

I have been taking a lot of interest recently in green issues as I guess most of us are becoming aware that we consume far too much and our limited resources are rapidly depleting. It is with concern that I have read about the Energy Review especially with regard to the emphasis on not only maintaining but increasing our nuclear power systems.
There are several reasons for my concern:
a) safety- not only the day to day safety for workers and people living in the area but also safety from a potential terrorist strike
b) environmental impact- nuclear waste is radioactive for thousands of years and needs disposal. We cannot leave this legacy for future generations to deal with as this is cavalier and thoughtless
c) limited reserves of radioactive materials- I believe that there are only enough nuclear resources to sustain the level of power stations proposed by this review for about 40 years so this solution seems so temporary to be worthless
d) impact on CO2 emissions- without taking into consideration the environmental damage already impacting the environment by using nuclear fuel, producing toxic waste that is with us for thousands of years and building power stations that have a limited shelf life, the statistics seem to say that nuclear power will have little impact on reducing CO2 emissions. Greenpeace state that nuclear power provides 20% of our electricity but it only represents 3.6% of the UK's total energy use. In order to make a lasting impact on CO2 emissions, we need to have a more realistic total energy plan including a look at a decentralised system in order to use the currently wasted heat from power stations and to have a stronger policy on using renewable resources.

I am sure you are aware of all these factors and I wanted to know what your opinion is of a decentralised energy system? It would appear that by producing and using power locally using Combined Heat and Power stations, a staggering 61.5% of the energy currently lost could be reclaimed and used. This would have a significant impact on CO2 emissions and is obviously much less wasteful. What is your opinion and what is the recommendation of the Energy Review in regards to CHP stations?

I'm sure you will agree that this is probably our most pressing issue for this and future generations and I look forward to hearing your opinions.

Yours sincerely,

Helen Bouttell

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