Political and energy independence are different priorities

So it seems according to our new Exalted First Minister. Hunterston B trips after a control sensor fault. This particular development is 30 years old and is coming to the end of its life. Naturally, especially given it's an AGR, is getting a little long in the tooth. It will be shutdown for good in 2011 as planned as it is, unlike some other AGRs, not in a fit enough state to continue for much longer.

Alex Salmond has ruled out any new nuclear power stations in Scotland, a decision not likely to be reversed now the Greens are his partners in Holyrood (Will the last person to leave Scotland please turn out the lights?). This means that the home nation's position in the continental energy market will change over the coming decades. The idea that a bunch of windmills will achieve the Exalted First Minister's "Green Energy Day" is delusional. Tidal power makes reduces it from merely delusional to merely wishful thinking. Still, the fact remains there is a large energy gap to be filled. 40% of Scotland's installed capacity is nuclear. If that is allowed to disappear over the next decade or so, at the same time North Sea hydrocarbons will decline, where is the rest of the energy going to come from?

The only option is England of course. But England isn't looking much healthier either, unless some momentum builds in Westminster and soon. El Gordo is not hopeless cause in this regard, but if the deputy leadership contest is any indication, he may not be as reliable as we might hope. If Scotland does go independent, then the Conservatives are a shoe in to take control of Westminster and that may give cause for cautious optimism.

Of course, if El Gordo or Cammy are lame ducks, there is always France. Flamanville-3 on the way and President Sarkozy is a relatively safe bet for seeing more in the future.

It always comes down to the French it seems. So under Alex Salmond's leadership, Scotland may become a politically independent country, but his determination to match that with energy independence seems rather lackluster. If you made the Liberal Democrats support independence, then they would be indistinguishable for the Scottish National Party. Both are wet, populist, scientifically illiterate and like local income tax.

Incidentally, in the comments section in that Scotsman article, the Greenpeace random number generator is coming back into play with 6 figure waste lifetimes being bandied about. How sad and ignorant!

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