There has been a lot of debate recently about whether there is a need for new nuclear power within the UK. I believe it would be possible to get away with no new nuclear power stations if the vast array of different renewable technologies were properly utilised, and this includes not only wind, but wave, tidal, biomass, energy from waste, hydropower and solar.
However, it looks like it will not be possible to reach the necessary point where renewable energy sources are able to produce enough power for the UK, and even with drastic changes to policy it is still unlikely. Thus, it seems like the only option is to either create new fossil fuelled plants, or new nuclear. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. In an ideal world, gas would be used as it releases relatively little in the way of carbon emissions and it is flexible. However the UK's gas reserves are dwindling at a very quick rate, and so there is increasingly the need to rely on overseas gas. This has it's own problems, as the recent dispute between Russia and Ukraine shows, and so there is the need to find an alternative. Of the two non-renewable alternatives to gas there is coal or nuclear. Obviously nuclear has a radiation risk, but new coal plants like that planned for Kingsnorth in Kent emits massive amounts of carbon emissions, and so I would class new nuclear plants to be the lesser of two evils.
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