I was right

I said before that the Cammy and the Conservatives are the best bet for seeing Generation III+ in Britain.

It turns out I was correct after all. Although Tony Blair may have been a cause for optimism, tomorrow he is gone, to be replaced by Gordon Brown. El Gordo is not someone I was that worried about either. He seemed to fairly behind Blair's position on this. However, when it comes to the Labour party, you must be careful not to confuse backing up with back stabbing.

But now, Harriet Harperson has been made the deputy leader of the Labour party and by all accounts, she is decidedly anti-nuclear. That rather wrecks everything. El Gordo might have supported nuclear power in the right circumstances, but I don't think he's that behind the cause to want to pick a fight with his new deputy.

That therefore leaves us with only one party in British politics willing to entertain the idea. All our hopes rest on Cammy.

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!

Nuclear renaissance on BBC News 24

A recent episode of Our World entitled 'Old Man Atom' has just aired on News 24. Not entirely expected of the BBC, it was rather positive in its outlook. The beginning focused on a GE facility in North Carolina, which manufactures fuel rods for export. According to the program, the business is thriving as demand has never been higher.

We then moved onto India, insatiably ravenous for more reliable supplies of electricity. After the nuclear walls have come down between the West and India over its weapons program, GE forsees new opportunities for nuclear expansion on the sub-continent, which is desparately needed to curb the damaging power cuts constantly being faced.

There was, however, a public perception problem in Mumbai as a significant number of people there were not really aware of the significance of nuclear energy in electricity generation and merely saw it as a tools of the military. One person was not even aware India used nuclear power for electricity at all (it's not too shocking really when you consider neither Sarkozy nor Royal knew of its importance to country of which they wanted to be president).

A particularly interesting part was the focus on India's attempts to develop thorium reactors as a way of improving energy security and ensuring non-proliferation (the regular fuel cycle isn't particularly useful either, but with thorium it's pretty much impossible). These reactors were touted as the future of energy in India. I was just impressed that a Beeboid had heard of thorium at all.

Kirk will be pleased.

It was an interesting programme and a reassuring one to any nuclear supporter. The attitude to nuclear power was positive. The featured sites looked professional. The personnel, all speaking up for their energy source, were likeable. Anyone would leave with the impression that a nuclear renaissance was underway and just warming up.