Gordon Murray uses the report of the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate to imply that nuclear installations are not safe (Letters, April 23).
But some of the figures he quotes do not agree with those of other experts in the field and are therefore misleading.
In fact, the 500 or so nuclear stations around the world have an outstanding safety record.
The International Energy Agency gives the number of deaths per 10 billion kWh generated as 0.2 for nuclear compared with 0.3 for gas (its nearest neighbour) and a huge 2.8 for coal – and this is after taking into account Chernobyl.
He goes on to say the cost of electricity generation by wind is far less than that by nuclear.
Yet the UK’s energy department, in a recent study, calculated that the power from wind turbines costs 70% more than that from nuclear. Professor Ian Fells of Newcastle University reckons the figure should be nearer 300%.
Mr Murray also states that “the intermittent nature of windfarms is no longer an issue, as multi-megawatt storage systems are now available in a range of technologies”.
As a retired chemical engineer who tries to keep up with advances in technology, I know of no such developments and neither do any of my former colleagues.
The overwhelming problem with windfarms is the intermittent nature of the wind and the fact that they therefore require conventional power stations as back-up.
Until one finds an economic way of storing the power generated, wind turbines will remain the green but very expensive way of generating electricity.
Leslie R Cox,
3 East Abercromby Street,
AS a former manager in a renewable energy section of a large electricity supply company, I feel qualified enough to comment on the failure of the Scottish Government to plan and encourage the building of large modern generation plants. The windfarm installations cannot, and never will, supply all of Scotland’s energy needs.
There are two main reasons that generating companies have them in their portfolios. Westminster offers large subsidies to build them and the companies have a renewable generation target to meet or face heavy penalties.
The facts regarding our current large generating sites are: Cockenzie, coal fired, now 43-years-old; Longannet, coal fired, 38-years-old; Hunterston, nuclear, 35-years-old; Torness, nuclear, 23-years-old.
The First Minister tells the Scottish public that Scotland is leading the way with renewable energy, but what he fails to make clear to everyone is that to deliver a 24/7 electrical supply to domestic and business users we need modern base-load supply sites, not intermittent wind energy that cannot be depended on.
I have no political affiliation and this letter is designed simply to alert readers to what is a potentially serious situation. Do we have to wait until our lights go out before some action is forthcoming?
54 Vorlich Crescent, Callander.
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