REVEALED: How Britain’s energy future is dangerously compromised

EDF is foisting second-rate nuclear technology onto Britain, and we can’t stop them

A Slog exposé of Britain’s woefully hands-off ‘secure energy’ policy

This is a tale of clever government omission in what it puts out about energy. A brief history of the inane reasons behind the UK’s choice of nuclear reactor type. A classic example of having no control over our own national destiny any more. The continuing story of the unaccountable obviating their responsibilities. And the obsession of governments throughout the world with nuclear development in terms of weaponry.

The French privatised EDF (Electricité de France) is, as anyone who’s been to London must be aware, ‘powering’ the Olympics. It is also, effectively, in charge of the development of nuclear-generated electricity in the United Kingdom. Following the privatisation of electricity generation in the UK, in the years leading up to 2002 the three allegedly competitive companies  ─ SEEBoard, London Energy and SWEB ─ were bought ogether to form British Energy plc, and this was acquired by the French to form EDF Energy. In 2009, EDF Energy purchased British Energy and all its assets, including land at Bradwell, Hartlepool, Heysham, Hinkley Point and Sizewell, in order to form an 80/20 joint venture with Centrica to to build 6.4GW of new nuclear. This will use the Areva EPR reactor type, based on uranium technology.

The British bureaucratic Establishment is somewhat economical and evasive about what the real situation is here. The Department’s website produces this classic piece of swerving Sir Humphrey (my italics):

‘The UK government is supportive of – but not involved in – the delivery of a nuclear new build programme for the UK….Though government is not directly involved in new nuclear developments, the Office for Nuclear Development (OND), which is part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), is involved in developing the stable policy framework which is essential for new build, removing unnecessary barriers and implementing facilitative actions.”

Decoded and abbreviated, this means “We dicked about with the energy football under New Labour, but now we need to get on with it, even though we can’t afford it. So over to you, EDF.” The Coalition Government which took power in May 2010 has backed the plans for new nuclear, and progress to new build remains on track.

The DECC’s output is also blatantly biased in its assessment of the technology chosen (again, my italics):

‘Nuclear power is low-carbon, affordable, dependable, and capable of increasing diversity of energy supply. The 2008 Nuclear White Paper stated that new nuclear power stations should have a role to play in this country’s future energy mix, alongside other low-carbon sources….Nuclear power stations generate electricity from energy produced by the fission, or splitting, of uranium atoms…This process creates very large amounts of energy: per atom the energy released is about 50 million times more than that released from the combustion of carbon….Most nuclear fuel is made from enriched uranium (although UK Magnox stations use natural uranium). Uranium in the form of uranium ore concentrate is readily available on the world market…’

Judging from the above, you could be excused for thinking that Britain has a flourishing non-carbon generation sector (it doesn’t) and that uranium is the only element via which nuclear energy can be generated. Well, it isn’t. What follows may surprise you, but five separate information and human sources have confirmed every word of it.

Uranium is the 92nd element in the periodic elements table that baffled us all at school; but the 90th place element in that table is Thorium. Never heard of it? Probably not, but Western scientists estimate that the nuclear energy available in thorium is greater than that available from all of the world’s oil, coal and uranium combined.

Thorium is approximately three times as abundant as uranium in the earth’s crust. In addition, thorium is present in higher concentrations (2-10%) by weight than uranium (0.1-1%) in their respective ores, making thorium retrieval much less expensive and less environmentally damaging per unit of energy extracted. Countries with significant thorium mineral deposits include: Australia, India, Brazil, USA, Canada, China, Russia, Norway, Turkey, Venezuela, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, South Africa, and Malaysia. Its availability is both broader and deeper than uranium, and it produces a fraction of the nuclear waste left after using uranium for electricity generation.

But it is a minority choice for reactors round the  world. A senior researcher explains with refreshing bluntness why:

“Ah, that’s easy. You can’t make bombs out of it. Bombs should, of course, have zero importance in the decision about which material to use for nuclear electricity generation. Thorium is plentiful, easier in terms of disposal, and vastly – hugely – more efficient than uranium. But you can’t make bombs out of it. So nobody uses it. It’s insane”.

A specialist media source tips me off by email as follows:

“I am not a rabid anti-nuclear person – I would not oppose new nuclear plants on condition they were based on thorium technology, which is (potentially at least) vastly superior to current uranium technology in terms of safety, clean-up costs, waste storage and nuclear proliferation risks. But we are not being offered thorium, and nobody anywhere seems to know or care about the difference between the two….the main difference between uranium and thorium is its thermal efficiency. Uranium’s is pitifully bad, which means there is lots of waste and lots of bad stuff left after the reaction, some of which remains radioactive for tens of thousands of years. Thorium’s thermal efficiency is – if I remember rightly – 97%, which means there is a fraction of the waste, and that waste is non-radioactive within 300 years.”

And finally, this from the US – source must remain vague I’m afraid:

“The major reason why thorium use for energy production has not made more progress over the past decades is that thorium is not nearly as easy to weaponize. The principal reason thorium hasn’t been used more widely to date is that the ore contains no fissile isotope.”

‘Weaponize’ eh? Doncha love it?

OK fine, the Pentagon doesn’t like it, so it doesn’t sell. But as the UK boffin quoted above remarks, why should that matter to French-owned EDF? And this is where it gets interesting.

The largest percentage of all EDF’s uranium is supplied by an outfit majority-owned by the French government called Areva SA. On February 10th this year, EDF extended Areva’s uranium supply contract from 2014 to 2030. That’s quite an extension, but the reason involves some pretty obvious back-scratching: EDF is being guaranteed 20,000 tons of supply in return for partly financing a new Areva mining project.

Clearly, uranium supply isn’t quite as secure as the DECC would have us believe. On May 16th, for example, Uranium Investing News noted that the impact of Labour disputes among African uranium miners ‘could be considerable if continued challenges become more widespread’. And supply from that continent could dry up quite quickly if the virtual annexation of it by China carries on at its current pace. But my specialist media source helps us out here:

“Something else you should know about uranium v thorium, is that the uranium model has an inbuilt income stream in terms of making the uranium fuel pellets. Companies like EDF love this because, at the same time as securing huge deals for new power plants with governments, they also get a permanent order for the fuel that is required to go into each plant, and of course there is a healthy mark-up along the way.”

That’ll be the munnneeeeee again, folks.

Of late, Areva has been trying to calm fears about uranium supply by predicting a glut of it between now and 2014…which, spookily enough, is when the company’s new contract extension with EDF kicks off. Given China’s increasing adoption of nuclear electricity, that seems an odd forecast to me, but there you are. Wheels within wheels and all that.

But EDF energy remains committed to diversifying the energy it has on hand to sell. Before the Delingpolar one at the Torygraph has an attack of the vapours, let me quickly review the “CETO” wave energy device being developed by Carnegie Wave Energy. It is a joint Australian-British endeavour, and its main plus point is having most of the equipment based on land – which makes it easy to maintain and cheap to run. The technology is also very power-dense, and capable of producing something like five gigawatts of energy per square mile. Astonishingly, it can also be turned into a desalination device when it is not needed for energy generation. No more standpipes for Britain, then. Amazing.

However, the exclusive rights to use the technology in the northern hemisphere have been sold to….EDF. So, here we have a nuclear company trying to foist upon the unsuspecting British taxpayer hugely expensive uranium nuclear plants while also having rights to far superior technology that is relatively close to full commercialisation, and could so easily be employed in the waters around the UK.

But worry not, Sir Humphrey – for Britain is keeping an eye on things….while studiously avoiding any responsibility.

Nobody – and I mean literally, nobody – in the UK’s governmental class is investing in energy breakthroughs that might give us back some control over our future supply. And unlike most of them (which can be demolished by James Delingpole in a thousand or so words) there’s one coming through from across the Pond that has a lot going for it.

It’s a wind energy device, but it’s solid-state – it doesn’t move, it doesn’t make any noise, it doesn’t have to ruin the landscape, and it should be incredibly cheap. Whereas even the best solar technologies today are only now getting under $1 a watt generation cost, the people developing this are aiming for $10-$50 a kilowatt – in short, at a fraction of the cost. In percentage terms, an astonishing 95% cheaper. So while the Coalition fluffies and Ed Miller Band are all for erecting white elephants on every available square metre of land and sea, the developers of this approach are looking at something considerably more efficient and long-term.

The company doing this is American, and called Accio Energy. They acknowledge the limitations of current wind technology and have come up with a different way of doing things. Their driving force is Dawn White, who has a track record of both innovation and successful commercialisation of her inventions. You can watch her talking about the idea here.

Keeping it simple, Aerovoltaic technology harvests energy by using the wind to move electrically charged particles against a voltage gradient. The electricity generated is fed directly to the grid or stored locally to provide energy on demand. It is a far, far better idea than the disabled propellor towers with which our well-pensioned lunatics in the DECC are blighting British landscapes.


Whatever your politics – be you warmist LibDem Guardian eco-warrior or libertarian climate change conspiracist fanatic – there are three very serious questions here which must be addressed by anyone concerned about the future quality of life in this country:

1. Is it wise to have the British Government standing aside while those placing ‘British quality of life’ well behind shareholders, uranium bias, defence, and French interests are running the show?

2. Whatever you think about ecology, none of us would give a 3000-year halflife radioactive isotope to our kids as a means of keeping them quiet during the footie. Why should we let the Pentagon et al take the decision to make nuclear waste disposal ten times more difficult than it need be….and the price of electricity generation up to four times higher than it could be?

3. If we don’t want to wind up with an injudicious blend of low-grade fantasy fart-recycling, dead-end nuclear technology, and late adoption of effective natural power harnessing, then shouldn’t we be a lot less dependent on EDF? If nothing else, somebody somewhere should be pondering this fact: for all it’s squeaky-clean Olympics advertising, the company remains heavily in debt. Its profitability suffered during the recession which began in 2008. It made €3.9 billion in 2009, which fell to €1.02 billion in 2010, with provisions set aside amounting to €2.9 billion.

This piece is most emphatically not a Leftie argument for renationalising energy in the UK: I would like to take the planning of energy requirements as far away from Sir Humprey and the vote-centric pols as possible.

But what I would suggest is that there are some things – given our parlous lack of any self-sufficiency in the forthcoming global fiscal and economic crisis – that simply should not be in foreign hands. This is a case, to my mind, for a patriotic mutual to take 0ver – not the entire energy industry – but certainly the selfishly British strategy for securing our future energy needs.

ALSO AT THE SLOG TODAY: Mario Draghi speaks mind, mind complains it wasn’t ready

64 thoughts on “REVEALED: How Britain’s energy future is dangerously compromised

  1. a thought as to another small step potentially solving several problmes together
    Use of Anaerobic Digestion from MSW to produce Biogas
    Saves use of landfill space
    Saves cost of Landfill Tax
    Regular supply stream
    Separation of recyclables at kerbside should mean no extra collection costs than present
    Supposed without smell or particulate matter as per other EFW schemes / process
    Can also use sewage and Farm Slurry
    Biogas can be fed into “National Grid” after removal of CO2
    CO2 can be used via Photosynthesis to aid plant growth (Poly tunnels) From both AD and power station
    An alternative to Carbon capture schemes
    Improvement in Energy security
    Less need to import & prospect of exports
    Biogas can be used for “Gas fired” Electricity Generating
    Digestate can be used as alternative to chemical fertilizer
    Potential for this to be sold
    Nuclear power stations declared too expensive (CEO of GE) so gas may be only answer
    Improved UK food production efficiency in Poly tunnels adjacent to power station using both CO2 and waste heat from turbines
    Localism Act ought to allow for planning for such schemes to be local to areas rather than London


  2. “But what I would suggest is that there are some things – given our parlous lack of any self-sufficiency in the forthcoming global fiscal and economic crisis – that simply should not be in foreign hands.”

    I couldn’t agree more enthusiastically and I cannot think of any reason why any sane or reasonably sensible TPTB could genuinely believe that putting control of *our* power in foreign hands was a good idea. So at the risk of being belittled as a ‘conspiracy theorist’, it has been done to force the globalist agenda. What other reason can there be for it?

    Every detail of modern and ancient history illustrates the reason why you wouldn’t let control of this most vital commodity cross your border. If you don’t like history, a few moments remembering the lessons one learnt in the school playground give ample example.

    Do I really need to spell those lessons out? I don’t think so.


  3. A major British engineering company has put together a design for a Thorium reactor with the assistance of Nobel laureates. The key apparently is the design of the accelerators that keeps the reactor going. They are waiting for somebody to show interest with money. They expect it to be Chinese NOT British


  4. A lot of our infrastructure is in the control of foreign corporations. How anyone thought that was a good idea is beyond me. Doesn’t anyone in government read history any more?
    All the money being wasted in supporting the EU could be better spent on supporting new energy technology, surely?
    I can’t resist adding in that Britain has produced Isaac Newton, Alan Turing, Steven Hawking. The brilliance has always been there but the support is shameful.


  5. Only a company already deep into nuclear power would today consider building a nuclear power plant anywhere in Europe. There is no private investment in nuclear power in the West. If EDF did not exist we would not now invent it.
    Thorium is an untried technology and in the present day is not an attractive investment.
    If shale gas is as big as people are saying then we will not need expensive wind, solar or nuclear or even coal energy for a good number of years.
    UK energy policy is a disaster but then it originates in Brussels so what do we expect?


  6. If I remember correctly, there are other important factors in favour of thorium.

    One is that in the event of a power or cooling failure, the liquid metal coolant solidifies and shuts the reactor down safely rather than (with PWR) pressurising and venting out steam as happened in japan. In other words, it breaks safely and seals itself.

    I also seem to remember that it can use spent fuel as a partial fuel source – an in doing so can render it pretty much safe and low grade waste. So we could safely dispose of the waste we have laying around – saving money and generating energy in the process.

    Thorium was one of the technologies that existed on paper when the US embarked on it’s nuclear programme; but was discarded for political reasons…. instead the decision was based on handing production to key states to win votes… the need for water and specific production skills in the chosen designs allowed them to justify the poor choice of technology and increase chances of re-election.

    I believe India is looking seriously at Thorium.


  7. The wrong decision but I guess they decided against Thorium on the basis we didn’t have the 20 /30 years to wait for development of the technology… sure its well in progress by now in China……could have also been here with the right incentive…….
    Anyway based on the current falling productivity trend we might not need all that additional power quite so soon!


  8. But what I would suggest is that there are some things – given our parlous lack of any self-sufficiency in the forthcoming global fiscal and economic crisis – that simply should not be in foreign hands.

    Now for a AAA rated government that has complete control over its financial affairs, the selling off of this “family silver” looks increasingly like a fire sale!

    Sure, you guys can roll your own money – so why don’t you … and go an buy up EDF lock, stock and power station? What about NuOn or whatever they are called? Surely they would be a better investment of funny munny than any sick and ailing bank?

    But no! You have to go and make it appear to the world that you are “doing just fine” – and then when the crunch comes, there will be nothing left in British ownership whatsoever.

    As a codicil, there is a mass fanfare of anti-German commenting about how militaristic they are – and yet it is the US and other governments who want nuclear power plants that produce the essentials for some very nasty weapons. Are these voices being paid to shout so that nobody notices what the real military threats are up to?


  9. I don’t think there is a leftie/righty problem with renationalising the energy sector. It is a simple matter of economics.
    Infrastructure (be it power, water, road or rail) is a natural monopoly. To leave it in private hands inevitably leads to rent seeking which in turn adds costs to individuals and businesses alike. In effect it becomes a private tax on the economy – with all the fiscal drag that entails.
    All infrastructure should therefore be in public hands, run on a non-profit basis for the common good.


  10. DE

    All infrastructure should therefore be in public hands, run on a non-profit basis for the common good.

    That is rather naive, isn’t it? When these things were in the hands of the state, you had other problems: weak management cowing to powerful (and canny) unions.

    To my mind, whether these things are in public or private hands, you need good responsible directors and management. Otherwise, you are in for trouble. Either of the social or economic kind. Just like the mis-managed eurozone, the problems will bite from one end or the other.


  11. I thought the decision on the new nuclear power stations was a straight fight between EDF and Westinghouse; and still undecided. The last time I checked the government website (admittedly a long time ago) the Westinghouse design had far fewer serious issues outstanding, although still some major, including prooving its passive safety features and inability to withstand an aircraft impact (it was also non compliant due to being 100% designed in imperial). The Westinghouse design is already being built in china and the USA. From memory the EDF design had many more serious flaws.


  12. I also don’t see energy security as a Left/Right issue. Except to say that Britain’s future supply should be under our own control, not owned by forriners and certainly not them there Frenchies who cannot be trusted.

    Energy policy all began to go wrong back in 1998 when Colin Wotshisname (world renowned oil geologist) gave a presentation to the Blair govt about peak oil. Nobody understood a word of it and no action was taken until the global warming racket was introduced. The Red Ed Milipede mindless moron was sent off to come up with a strategy. Enter: a nation covered with useless windmills to appease all the Lefty pressure groups but never ever a proper solution to our future energy needs.


  13. @h “I believe India is looking seriously at Thorium”. I read somewhere they already have one thorium reactor running?


  14. A trivial riposte – we need only look across the channel to see that nationalised industries can be run very well and very efficiently and those countries that do so benefit greatly as a result.


  15. Energy policy has been wrong for decades. Major blunders include the pursuit of weapons grade uranium (Seascale) and plutonium (Douneray) and the decision to privatise the electricity and gas industries.

    Governments of all colours are culpable – but then what can we expect when we have a nation run continuously by privileged idiots?


  16. Robert, yes, Thorium is another blind-alley that looks ever so cool on paper, like windmills. Please, let’s talk again when they have ten Thorium power stations working full-steam around-the-clock for a decade or so, and then we can think about it.

    Do you want me to believe that the French, that generate more than 70% of their power from nuclear power stations, have some of the cheapest electricity costs in Europe, don’t know what they are doing? What are you smoking?


  17. JollyGreenMan – I assume you’re being humorous.
    I’m sure you know that democracy is so much more than just putting an ‘x’ in a box every five years or so. Not to mention that the electorate has little or no say in the choice of candidates presented to them.


  18. AEP at the Telegraph had an excellent piece on Thorium as a source for nuclear energy. He points out that the Chinese are investing significantly in developing a prototype. Apart from being plentiful the reaction process is also plutonium scavenging.
    AREVA is pushing uranium because that is all it has and will have availble for the next generation and Britain does not have the lead time to wait for non-carbon base load.
    As for the other technologies mentioned, we need to keep in mind how long it takes to transform them from prototype to commercial operations. This would need a decade at least.
    There are no commercially available alternatives at this time and it is now that the investment needs to be made to deliver its first kilowatt in 10 years time. So you need to go with what you have got and keep working on the alternatives with the hope of phasing them in with the next generation of installed capacity.


  19. “Experiences in other European countries suggest that there is a significant risk that new nuclear power stations will not be delivered to planned timetables. Construction will have to progress in line with demanding timetables if the first new nuclear reactor is to be completed by 2019. Two new nuclear power stations that are under construction in France and Finland and using the same generic design of reactor that has been proposed for the first new nuclear power station in Britain are currently several years behind schedule and, in total, €5.1 billion (77 per cent) over budget.”

    And this assumes that all remains hunky dory in Europe. Who knows…thorium reactors may yet get a look-in


  20. Sir,

    I thought I should exlain my extra energy today.

    Two things are driving me at the moment:-

    I am practising for Mastermind. I applied to the BBC in April, and am still waiting for a response. I assume that they are checking out my celestial qualifications and references that I enclosed with my 12 page application. I will let you know when the BBC want have me in the studio for some impressive display of my entire knowledge and experience squeezed into less than 2 minutes.

    Also, I am having lots of fun and happy times because I have found a new and exciting friend at The Slog. Someone of my own extremely high intellect, we can almost read each other’s minds. I mean of course the one and only IOANNIS – swoon. The hunky chunky greek chap. I wait watching the comments on the Slog, just waiting for my man. I come alive, and my heart beats stronger than ever. OOHH, IOANNIS – my sweet. Are you married? Please answer me and we will arrange to meet one lavender filled evening in the Penepolenese.

    If I am not reaching the tender spot of some of my readers, I do sincerely apologise. I always do my best to impress, but we can’t please everyone all of the time.

    with love,
    ever loving Gemz xx


  21. Nice to see TPTB or should I say TPTwere, getting their hit squad on this blog and ridiculing the Thorium angle! How predictable.

    Two words for the biggest coming impact on the energy scene, COLD FUSION and two more, FREE ENERGY.

    TPTW really hate the Cold Fusion free energy developments because it will consign everything else that they make big profits off to the history books. The East is very keen on this technology, The West is very keen to halt it in its tracks.

    No doubt some Government sponsored hack will be along shortly to trash the above and I would expect no less of these parasites.


  22. @DE: You may be right. I used 1998 as the turning point because up until that approximate time, it was always assumed that oil/gas could be used to generate electricity. Things changed when peak oil became public knowledge and the global warmers took control…


  23. BT surely the disposal of our electricity generating infrastructure to overseas interests through privatisation by that well known socialist Mrs T in 1990 was the start of the rot. I’m glad you realise this was a big mistake and energy security should be under our own control.

    Wind turbines are part of the solution to our energy needs, the only part of the solution for which anything is actually happening. I am starting to think there is not enough cash left in the piggy bank to develop completely novel energy sources even if there are any suitable candidates. A better bet would be to increase our energy conservation and reduce our demand, thats one part of the no growth economy that JW has been talking about.


  24. JW, totally agree about the thorium. I’ve also read that it has huge advantages both in that it eats up existing spent fuel, and that it doesn’t go critical, but instead shuts itself down safely if accidental loss of coolant happens. There’s a lot of good, sensible discussion of the technology here
    if anyone’s interested (and that won’t apply to anyone in charge of running this country, as they clearly aren’t!)


  25. @PhilE: Mrs T…a socialist? I’ll let you dream about that.

    Fwiw, I’ve been saying for a long time that IMO the privatisation of our energy companies was economically correct but was carried out wrongly. Viz:
    1. ownership/control should be held within the UK (no problem with a small %age of foreign shareholders, but not what we have seen).
    2. the govt should have created a new legal model of Limited Company along the lines of “XYZ Public Utility Company Ltd”. This model would contain some different Articles of Association which not only limited foreign ownership but also specified a change in the basic rules which currently require the Executive Board to always take decisions in the best interests of shareholders. I envisage that customers would be given a greater consideration. I think I’m right in saying that something like this was used in Canada.

    Since energy companies are a bread/butter investment, such a change would have ensured they became good investments for the so-called grannies and orphans whilst customers got a better deal.

    Like the idea?


  26. If I am not reaching the tender spot of some of my readers

    No, you reach for somewhere that hurts, twist hard and then yank. That is, after all, what Trolls do in their cages at night.


  27. “So at the risk of being belittled as a ‘conspiracy theorist’, it has been done to force the globalist agenda. What other reason can there be for it?”

    Short-termism (ie. munnee) which UK govts, of whatever persuasion, have down to a fine art.

    The fact that our political elites are largely comprised of Oxbridge graduates with little understanding or appreciation of our strengths in science and technology, or where the opportunities therefrom arise, has in my view a lot to do with it.


  28. Both parties have screwed up our energy policy and yes I do like your idea for a public utility company. Such a company would also be able to issue long dated corporate bonds for our pension funds to buy and fund our energy generation security.


  29. @PhilE: Agreed. I like the idea of long term bonds being issued.

    It makes me wonder why some smarty in govt doesn’t pick up the idea…it would certainly win a bunch of votes from angry voters who believe they’re being ripped off.


  30. The US had a small scale Thorium reactor running for years in the 60’s – but the bomb fodder was more important and so the development to full scale was halted. but that is another benefit of LiFTR – the reactors are very scaleable to the needs of the population.
    No doubt India (after the last few days) are going to be pushing on with this at a rate of knots. We on the other hand will be buying the technology from them – once the currently planned (Uranium) build needs replacing (and taxpayer funded cleanup costs).


  31. Everything you said in your article confirms my desire to see Scotland leave this stupid union and rid ourselves of the horror that is called Westminster and Whitehall.


  32. The chairman of the Advisory Board of Accio Energy (the ‘fan-less’ energy company you reference) isMary Lincoln Campbell, a Managing Director and Founder of EDF Ventures. So EDF have that opportunity covered.


  33. ….. and confirms my desire to see England leave this stupid union and rid ourselves of the horror that is called Westminster and Whitehall. Oh that we were given the chance.


  34. Add in capital costs and the costs of disposal of radioactive waste and the economics of nuclear power does not stack up. The French built nuclear because they had no coal or oil in the 1970’s. Having made the investment they are not going to admit that perhaps nuclear has no future.

    Gas power stations are the future, not nuclear.


  35. Thanks, JW, for reminding us all of the realities of our energy non-policy. When the tumble driers stop tumbling and the servers stop serving, we will finally get around to doing something about energy, both finding a sustainable model and economising in its use. Until then, I fear that the usual UK short term attitude (= rolling 12 month approach) will prevail. The result of course will be extremely expensive, but that’s because our politicians want it to be so. I expect they expect to make huge personal gains.


  36. I can’t recall the detail but as far as I do recall we sold a chunk of our nuclear research capability to Japan and then embarked upon our deals with France on energy. This was of course during the NL terror. Brown was certainly involved in both.
    My own theory is that as part of the EU deal UK has ceeded various parts of its economy to France/Germany e.g utilities,on the basis that we kept finance (The City ) and some motor and aero manufacturing. Don’t forget that we have also signed up to a joint defence force with France – new carriers being key part , group escort provided by French.French planes using carriers.
    We also pay social security and child benefit to large proportions of the populations of Poland, Rumania etc.
    I suppose that in the context of a European federal state there is a certain logic in this.


  37. and still be stuck with the much nicer and people friendly EU? Hmm becareful what you wish for.. we are ALL in this together!


  38. DV – As the specification has now changed yet again on the carriers back to the original stupid Labour configuration of VSTOL with no catapults or arrestor wires I don’t think the French will be landing any time soon on a British flight deck. This whole project has become another national humiliation and total joke. Why the hell do our politicians make such idiotic stupid decisions?


  39. I think that the Thorium reactor needs a great deal of further research and exploration but someone needs to build one and try it out before we plunge completely in with a big program as the technology is still unproven.
    After all the Wankel rotary engine was once a great invention that was going to revolutionise the internal combustion engine until someone actually built one and it turned out to have endless problems.


  40. I don’t understand this concern with UK infrastructure and energy assets being int he hands of foreign companies; If and when national self-interest dictate, we will nationalise them.


  41. The Americans built ine in the 60’s and the Indians have one up-&-running now and they intend to bring more on line in the next few years as do the Chinese. The Israelis are well advanced as are the Canadians and even the Japanese are not that far off.


  42. Pingback: THORIUM-POWERED NUCLEAR: The destructive force of American protectionism | A diary of deception and distortion

  43. Pingback: John Ward – Thorium-Powered Nuclear : The Destructive Force Of American Protectionism – 2 October 2012 | Lucas 2012 Infos

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